Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Body Surface Area

Today I deployed my first Google application developed with the Google app engine (GAE). You have to be connected to the internet and establish an account with Google to use it. BSA Calculator is a body surface area (BSA) calculator with a simple layout in font that the visually challenged like me can read without squinting.

The large font may also be helpful to the busy physician using an iPhone.

Physicians regularly use body surface area to calculate drug doses for their patients. Notably, the dosing of chemotherapeutic drugs like Cisplatin is determined according to BSA. I use it to control my diet. When my BSA climbs over 2.1 m2, it is high time for me to act.

Estimating human body surface is not trivial. It is difficult to develop one formula that fits all, simply because we come in a wide range of shapes and sizes and the relationship between body height and body weight changes considerably while we grow up. Medcalc provides a handful of methods and references. The suggested formulas have been empirically derived from measurements of height and weight. J.D. Current, 1998, and Than Vu, 1999, critically review the methods in use. Boyd, 1935, published one method that is still widely employed. In recent years the method of Mosteller, 1987, has gained popularity. Both are available in BSAcalc.

  • Boyd E (1935) The growth of the surface area of the human body. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.
  • Mosteller RD (1987) Simplified Calculation of Body Surface Area. New England Journal of Medicine 317: 1098.
The BSA calculator accepts only metric dimensions (Système International). You may use the converter below to convert body height and weight from inches and pounds to centimeters and kilograms, respectively. Enter the body height in inches in the inches box and click on the centimeter box. In analogy, enter the body weight in lbs into the pound box and click on the kilo box:

[in] :
[kg] :

 Converter © You may donate for further development through PayPalhere.
Proceed to the BSA calculator.

  • A authoritative study by Sacks and others (2009) in the New England Journal of Medicine (360:859-873) demonstrates that we can diminish our weight on reduced-calorie diets (02/26/09).

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