Reproducibility of pediatric whole body bone and body composition measures by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry using the GE Lunar Prodigy

J Clin Densitom. Fall 2005;8(3):298-304. doi: 10.1385/jcd:8:3:298.


The use of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in pediatrics is increasing. It is safe, readily available, and easily performed, but there is little information on reproducibility. The aim of this study is to evaluate the reproducibility of whole body DXA scans in children. Total and regional bone mineral density, bone mineral content, nonbone, lean fat mass, and percent fat were measured twice by whole body DXA (GE Lunar Prodigy) in 49 subjects (5 to 17 yr). Within each subject, between subjects, and reading standard deviations for each body component were evaluated as well as intraclass correlations (IC) and coefficients of variation (CV). Total body measurements had better IC and CV than regional results from the whole body scan, with legs and arms better than trunk and spine. IC values were >or=0.989 for total body, >or=0.976 for legs and arms, and >or=0.875 for trunk and spine. CV values ranged 0.18 to 1.97% for total body, and 0.96 to 6.91% for regional measures. These values confirm that body composition and bone mass by DXA are highly reproducible among pediatric subjects. The results of this study can be used by clinicians and researchers for interpretation of longitudinal observations and for power calculations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / instrumentation*
  • Adolescent
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results