J Clin Densitom 2013 Oct-Dec;16(4):562-9. Epub 2013 Feb 26.
Department of Radioimmunology, Biochemistry, and Experimental Medicine, The Children's Memorial Health Institute, Warsaw, Poland. Electronic address:
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) method is widely used in pediatrics in the study of bone density and body composition. However, there is a limit to how precise DXA can estimate bone and body composition measures in children. The study was aimed to (1) evaluate precision errors for bone mineral density, bone mass and bone area, body composition, and mechanostat parameters, (2) assess the relationships between precision errors and anthropometric parameters, and (3) calculate a "least significant change" and "monitoring time interval" values for DXA measures in children of wide age range (5-18yr) using GE Lunar Prodigy densitometer. It is observed that absolute precision error values were different for thin and standard technical modes of DXA measures and depended on age, body weight, and height. In contrast, relative precision error values expressed in percentages were similar for thin and standard modes (except total body bone mineral density [TBBMD]) and were not related to anthropometric variables (except TBBMD). Concluding, due to stability of percentage coefficient of variation values in wide range of age, the use of precision error expressed in percentages, instead of absolute error, appeared as convenient in pediatric population.