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Glossary of terms

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Body Surface Area (BSA)

The body surface area (BSA) is the calculated skin surface of a human body. BSA is directly related to basal metabolism or resting metabolic rate (RMR) , i.e. the energy required by a fasting individual at rest at a temperature of ± 20oC, to maintain such vital functions as respiration, blood circulation, kidney functioning, body temperature, etc. It is obvious that the larger the skin surface of an individual, the higher the amount of calories required by unit of time to keep him going.
The relationship between BSA and calorie requirements has been laid down in different scientific tables, e.g. the Aub & Du Bois table:

Required kcal per m2 BSA per hour




14 1646.043.0
16 - 1843.040.0
18 - 2041.038.0
20 - 3039.537.0
30 - 4039.536.5
40 - 5038.536.0
50 6037.535.0
60 - 7036.534.0
70 - 8035.533.0
Amongst the various approaches to estimate the BSA, the classical Du Bois & Du Bois equation (used in areppim's BSA calculator), originally developed in 1916, has been found highly accurate and it has prevailed as the most popular tool for BSA calculation in current use:
  • bsa (m2) = weight (kg)0.425 × height (cm)0.725 × 0.007184

More recently, Mosteller developed a formula that has been adopted by the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee of the Cross Cancer Institute, Alberta, Canada in 1999:
  • bsa (m2) = square root [ (weight (kg) × height (cm)) ÷ 3600 ]

[References: Aub & Du Bois, Arch. Intern. Med., 19, 823 (1917); Du Bois & Du Bois, Arch. Intern. Med., 17, 863 (1916), both cited in Documenta Geigy Tables Scientifiques; and Standardization of Body Surface Area Calculations, by Thanh Vu, Dept. of Pharmacy, Cross Cancer Institute. 1999.]
  Calculate your own body surface area with areppim's BSA - Body Surface Area.