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J Clin Densitom. 2003 Summer;6(2):159-62.

Precision of single vs bilateral hip bone mineral density scans.

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Jean Mayer United States Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


This study was performed to determine and compare the precision of single and bilateral hip bone mineral density (BMD) measurements and to determine the precision of spinal and total body measurements by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Precision (group root-mean-square average coefficient of variation) was determined in 6 subjects scanned six times each at the spine, both hips, and total body, with repositioning after each scan. Mean percentage coefficients of variance (%CVs) in BMD for single and bilateral hip scans were, respectively: 0.65% and 0.67% for the total hip, 1.16% and 1.03% for the trochanter, and 1.66% and 1.31% for the femoral neck, respectively. Mean %CV was 1.04% for spine BMD (L2-L4), 0.67% for total body BMD, 1.12% for total body bone mineral content (BMC), 0.94% for total body fat tissue, and 0.77% for total body nonfat soft tissue. We conclude that precision overall is excellent and that femoral neck precision can be improved with bilateral compared with the traditional single hip scans.

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