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Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Jun;51(6):1106-12.

Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry for total-body and regional bone-mineral and soft-tissue composition.

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  • 1Lunar Radiation Corp., Madison, WI 53713.


Bone mineral density (BMD) and soft-tissue composition of the total body and major subregions were measured with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Total body scans were made in 12 young adults (6 male, 6 female) on five occasions at both a medium speed (20 min) and a fast speed (10 min). There were no significant differences in mean results or in precision errors between the two speeds. The precision errors (1 SD) for total body BMD, percent fat in soft tissue (% Fat), fat mass, and lean tissue mass were less than 0.01 g/cm2, 1.4%, 1.0 kg, and 0.8 kg, respectively. These results corresponded to a relative error of 0.8% for total body BMD and 1.5% for lean body mass. Regional BMD and soft-tissue values (arms, legs, trunk) were determined with slightly higher precision errors. Skeletal mineral was 5.8 +/- 0.5% of lean tissue mass (r = 0.96, p less than 0.001). DEXA provides precise composition analysis with a low radiation exposure (less than 0.1 microGy).

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