Measurements of resistance and reactance in fish with the use of bioelectrical impedance analysis: sources of error


Cox, M. Keith, Ron Heintz, and Kyle Hartman
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New technologies can be riddled with unforeseen sources of error, jeopardizing the validity and application of their advancement. Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is a new technology in fisheries research that is capable of estimating proximate composition, condition, and energy content in fish quickly, cheaply, and (after calibration) without the need to sacrifice fish. Before BIA can be widely accepted in fisheries science, it is necessary to identify sources of error and determine a means to minimize potential errors with this analysis. We conducted controlled laboratory experiments to identify sources of errors within BIA measurements. We concluded that electrode needle location, procedure deviations, user experience, time after death, and temperature can affect resistance and reactance measurements. Sensitivity analyses showed that errors in predictive estimates of composition can be large (>50%) when these errors are experienced. Adherence to a strict protocol can help avoid these sources of error and provide BIA estimates that are both accurate and precise in a field or laboratory setting.