Q:

How do you calculate body surface area?

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Quick Answer

Using the Mosteller formula, body surface area is calculated by taking the square root of a person's height in centimeters times his weight in kilograms divided by 3600, or BSA = SQRT([height (cm) x weight(kg)]/3600). There are multiple formulas available for calculating BSA.

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Full Answer

The Monsteller formula is the simplest way to calculate BSA; however, several other formulas have been developed over the years. Of them, the DuBois and DuBois formula is one of the most widely used. Using this formula, BSA is calculated by multiplying 0.007184 times height in centimeters to the power of 0.725 times weight in kilograms to the power of 0.425.

The Monsteller and DuBois and DuBois formulas yield results that are very similar. For example, a person who is 62 inches (157.5 cm) tall and weighs 110 pounds (49.9 kg) has a BSA of approximately 1.48 meters squared for both equations. Other formulas for body surface area include the Gehan and George, Haycock and Boyd formulas.

BSA is defined as the total surface area of a human body and is often used to measure the amount of medicine a person needs, especially chemotherapy medicines. It can also be used to estimate body fat. The average BSA for adult women is 1.6 meters squared, and the average BSA for adult men is 1.9 meters squared.

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