Body surface area calculator
Mosteller and Dubois methods
Body surface area (BSA) is widely used to dose chemotherapies. A number of formulas can be used to estimate BSA. All can be inaccurate in infants and at extremes of body weight. A discussion of BSA can be found at this external link.
The Mosteller formula was published in 1987,1 and is a relatively simple and accurate formula that can be readily applied using a pocket calculator: BSA in m2 is the square root of (height in meters) x (weight in kg), divided by 6. It is a simplified modification of a formula derived from a study measuring BSA in 401 people.3
The Dubois and Dubois formula2 was published in 1916, and was based on just nine direct measurements of BSA. Despite this, it provides a reasonable estimate of BSA for most individuals,4 and remains in widespread use today.
- Mosteller RD. Simplified calculation of body-surface area. N Engl J Med 1987; 317: 1098.
- DuBois D and DuBois EF. A formula to estimate the approximate surface area if height and weight be known. Arch Int Med 1916; 17: 863-71.
- Gehan EA and George SL. Estimation of human body surface area from height and weight. Cancer Chemother Rep 1970; 54: 225-35.
- Wang Y, Moss J and Thisted R. Predictors of Body Surface Area. J Clin Anesth 1992; 4: 4-10.