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Clinical Research Unit (CRU) Exercise Physiology and Body Composition Lab

These services are offered at the Bayview Clinical Research Unit (CRU) and the Adult Outpatient Unit.

To request this service, apply to use our Clinical Research Units (CRUs).

The Exercise Physiology and Body Composition Core’s laboratory provides DEXA measurements for body fat, muscle and bone composition, metabolic stress testing, and also supports exercise-training protocols. DEXA scanning is also available on the East Baltimore campus through the Adult Outpatient Unit.

Supported studies address issues like exercise testing and training and body composition of patients with chronic health conditions. The Core also provides coronary risk factor assessment and modification for approved users and works closely with CRU Research Nursing, Research Nutrition, and the Research Core Laboratory for sample collection and processing.

A staff volunteer having a lumbar spine DEXA scan completed. The DEXA scanner can offer total body composition and bone density results as well as bone density assessments of the forearm, dual femur, AP spine and VFA (Vertebral Fracture Assessment). Assessments can be completed on pediatrics and adults.

Stress Testing

ECG stress testing and metabolic stress testing is available for diagnostic screening and for protocols that require measurement of oxygen consumption and related cardiopulmonary parameters. The available software allows for continuous 12-lead ECG monitoring, automatic resting ECG interpretation, arrhythmia detection, ST level, and slope analysis. A treadmill or cycle ergometer can be interfaced with the computer in order to accommodate various research protocols. The system uses a pneumotachometer to acquire breath-by-breath gas exchange and ventilatory data. Gas samples are evaluated using oxygen and carbon dioxide analyzers. The system can also be used to assess pulmonary function and resting metabolic rate. The metabolic cart is on the computer network to allow for transfer of data into study databases for statistical analysis.

Muscle Strength Testing

Exercise Physiologist, Faedra Arwady, conducting muscle strength assessments using the BIODEX system 3, a multi-mode computerized robotic dynamometer. The BIODEX system 3 can offer isokinetic, isometric, eccentric, isotonic and passive motion assessments.

Available equipment includes the Biodex System 3 dynamometer, which conducts isokinetic strength testing of various muscles groups. Pediatric attachments are available. Multi-station resistance trainers can also be used for isodynamic strength testing.

Anthropometric, Body Composition and Functional Assessment

  • Harpenden skinfold calipers, assorted tape measures, and a girth measurement tool are available for anthropometric assessment.
  • A bioelectrical impedance analyzer is available to analyze body fat percent and water retention.
  • A Dual X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scanner is used to assess body composition which includes total and regional fat, lean tissue and bone mass.
  • Walking wheel measure, plastic cones and arm chairs are available for gait and balance assessments.
  • For bone density, the analysis can provide focused scans that include the femur, forearm, and lumbar spine. Scans are available for both adults and children.

Exercise Training

Exercise training is available at the Bayview campus. Participants can perform workouts on a variety of aerobic and resistance exercise training equipment. There is also ECG telemetry equipment for heart rate and ECG monitoring in each gym. Blood pressure and heart rate can be taken before, during, and after exercise.

Exercise Physiologist, Faedra Arwady, conducting a treadmill exercise stress test using GE Cardiosoft EKG software in conjunction with a Vyaire metabolic cart and Trackmaster treadmill. This systems offers traditional stress testing and metabolic stress testing using either a cycle ergometer or a treadmill. RMR assessments (resting metabolic rate) are also available.