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Editorials |

Size and How You Measure It MattersPredicted Body Weight Calculations

Arthur P. Wheeler, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Arthur P. Wheeler, MD, FCCP, Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, T-1210 Medical Center North, Nashville, TN 37232-2650; e-mail: art.wheeler@vanderbilt.edu


FINANCIAL/NONFINANCIAL DISCLOSURES: The author has reported to CHEST the following conflicts of interest: Dr Wheeler was an investigator in the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute ARDS Network.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2015;148(1):3-4. doi:10.1378/chest.15-0395
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Extract

For many years, a practice known as vanity sizing has been increasing the physical dimensions of women’s clothing relative to its nominal size, resulting from the lack of an industry standard that is adhered to.1 Vanity sizing impedes the reliable selection of properly fitting garments without donning them since similarly labeled clothing may be proportioned using different scales and vary significantly in size. An analogous predicament faces clinicians and researchers when they attempt to properly tailor tidal volume for a patient with ARDS who is mechanically ventilated. Unlike fashion where actual weight determines fit, tidal volumes are best indexed to predicted, not actual, body weight; being overweight does not grow lung and being underweight does not shrink lung. Yet, even knowing the major determinants of predicted body weight (height, age, and sex), there is no accepted standard for predicted body weight calculation and, in the past, researchers have used several different equations.2-5

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