Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Bone Miner Res. 1998 Oct;13(10):1613-8.

Bone mineral and body composition measurements: cross-calibration of pencil-beam and fan-beam dual-energy X-ray absorptiometers.

Author information

  • 1USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, Houston 77030-2600, USA.


Pencil-beam dual-energy X-ray absorptiometers (DXA) are being replaced with instruments that rely solely on fan-beam technology. However, information has been lacking regarding the translation of bone mineral and body composition data between the two devices. We have compared total body scans using pencil-beam (Hologic QDR-2000W) and fan-beam (Hologic QDR-4500A) instruments for 33 children (ages 3-18 years) and 14 adults. Bone mineral content (BMC), bone mineral density (BMD), fat, lean, and body fatness (%fat) values were highly correlated (r2 = 0.984-0.998) between the two DXA instruments. The mean differences between the paired measurements were: deltaBMC = 7.5 +/- 73.6 g, deltaBMD = 0.0074 +/- 0.0252 g/cm2, delta lean = 1.05 +/- 1.8 kg, delta fat = -0.77 +/- 1.7 kg, and delta%fat = -0.94% +/- 2.5%. The BMC and BMD values were not statistically different, whereas the differences for the body composition values were significant (p < 0.02-0.005). Regression equations are provided for conversion of bone and body composition data between pencil-beam and fan-beam values for the whole body. To test the performance of these equations for a second group (23 subjects), predicted values were compared with the measured data obtained using the fan-beam instrument. The mean differences were -1.0% to 1.4%, except for body fat mass, where the difference was 6.4%. For cross-sectional studies, the two DXA technologies can be considered equivalent after using the translational equations provided. For longitudinal studies in which small changes in body composition for the individual are to be detected, we recommend that the same DXA instrument be used whenever possible. For example, transition from a pencil-beam to a fan-beam instrument could, in extreme cases, result in differences as large as 19% for the estimate of body fat mass.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk