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Int J Body Compos Res. 2005;3(2):69-72.

Comparison of software versions for body composition analysis using the PIXImus dual-energy X-ray absorptiometer.

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Division of Physiology and Metabolism, Department of Nutrition Sciences, and the Clinical Nutrition Research Center, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham AL 35294-3360, USA.


We have previously validated the use of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for measuring body composition of mice using the GE-Lunar PIXImus and software version 1.42 [1]. Since that report, newer versions of the software have been released. The purpose of the present study was to compare results from our original study with results analyzed using two newer versions of software (versions 1.44 and 1.45). Body composition data (lean tissue mass [LTM], fat mass [FM], bone mineral content [BMC], and bone mineral density [BMD]) were obtained from DXA scans of twenty-five, anesthetized male C57Bl/6J mice (6-11 weeks old; 19 to 29g). Relative to version 1.42, versions 1.44 and 1.45 significantly (P<0.001) overestimated LTM and BMD and underestimated FM and BMC. However, compared to carcass analysis, versions 1.44 and 1.45 significantly overestimated both FM and LTM and underestimated BMC. Results from 1.44 and 1.45 were highly correlated with carcass values for all body composition parameters. Prediction equations were developed for the two new software versions. Applying the prediction equation from 1.42, to the data obtained from 1.44 and 1.45 resulted in FM and LTM that were worse than if no equation was used. However, using their own developed equations resulted in data that were not significantly different than that from carcass analysis. These data suggest that software-specific equations are necessary for comparing DXA-derived data to that of chemical analysis.

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