Open Access

Whole-body phase angle correlates with pre-operative markers in total joint arthroplasty



Bioimpedance derived whole body phase angle (ϕ), a measure of cellular integrity, has been identified as an independent marker of morbidity and mortality in many medical and surgical specialties. While similar measures of water homeostasis like extracellular edema (EE) have been associated with pre-operative risk, ϕ has not been studied in orthopaedics, despite potential to serve as a pre-operative marker. This study aims to identify relationships between ϕ, EE, and body composition metrics, laboratory values, patient reported outcomes, and comorbidities.


Multi-frequency bioimpedance analysis (BIA) records, laboratory values, and patient reported outcomes of adult patients presenting to an academic arthroplasty clinic were retrospectively reviewed. Correlation coefficients between ϕ, EE, and reviewed information were conducted.


ϕ was significantly correlated (p<0.001) most positively with measures of lean tissue such as skeletal muscle mass (r=0.48), appendicular skeletal muscle index (r=0.39), lean body mass (r=0.43), and dry lean mass (r=0.47), while it held negative correlations (p<0.001) with age (r= -0.55), and body fat mass (r= -0.11). ϕ was not correlated with body mass index (BMI, p = 0.204). In contrast, EE demonstrated its strongest positive correlations (p<0.001) with body fat mass (r=0.32), age (r=0.50), and BMI (r=0.26), and its strongest negative correlations (p<0.001) with serum albumin (r= -0.37) and total protein (r= -0.23).


Based on their associations with markers of health and fitness, BIA determined ϕ and EE demonstrate relationships to markers currently implemented in orthopaedic practice. This likely indicates that ϕ has potential as a comprehensive surrogate for several commonly used markers to quantify pre-operative risk. In the future, ϕ may aid in developing risk-stratifications for intervention and prevention of complications.