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The measurement of total body electrical conductivity is based on the induction of a uniform current in the body by placement within a characteristic low-frequency electromagnetic field. Conductivity is a result of ionic content of the body and highly correlated with lean body mass (LBM). Estimates of LBM from this method correlate well with estimates from densitometry (correlation of >.95 in most series, with standard error of estimate about 3.5%). The method is extremely simple and noninvasive for the subject, lending it to potential use in groups impossible to evaluate by other methods. The potential of the method, or of modifications of the current technique, for estimating total body water and for differentiating extracellular from intracellular water need further investigation.