Bone densitometry in infants and young children: the 2013 ISCD Pediatric Official Positions

J Clin Densitom. 2014 Apr-Jun;17(2):243-57. doi: 10.1016/j.jocd.2014.01.002. Epub 2014 Mar 24.


Infants and children <5 yr were not included in the 2007 International Society for Clinical Densitometry Official Positions regarding Skeletal Health Assessment of Children and Adolescents. To advance clinical care of very young children, the International Society for Clinical Densitometry 2013 Position Development Conference reviewed the literature addressing appropriate methods and skeletal sites for clinical dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) measurements in infants and young children and how results should be reported. DXA whole-body bone mineral content and bone mineral density for children ≥3 yr and DXA lumbar spine measurements for infants and young children 0-5 yr were identified as feasible and reproducible. There was insufficient information regarding methodology, reproducibility, and reference data to recommended forearm and femur measurements at this time. Appropriate methods to account for growth delay when interpreting DXA results for children <5 yr are currently unknown. Reference data for children 0-5 yr at multiple skeletal sites are insufficient and are needed to enable interpretation of DXA measurements. Given the current scarcity of evidence in many areas, it is likely that these positions will change over time as new data become available.

Keywords: Bone mineral content; bone mineral density; clinical assessment; dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; guideline.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / standards*
  • Body Composition
  • Bone Density
  • Child, Preschool
  • Femur / physiology
  • Forearm / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiology
  • Motor Skills