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. 1988;77(5-6):197-203.

Measurement of Bone by Dual-Photon Absorptiometry (DPA) and Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA)

  • PMID: 3076046

Measurement of Bone by Dual-Photon Absorptiometry (DPA) and Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA)

R B Mazess et al. Ann Chir Gynaecol. .


Bone densitometry is essential for (a) confirming a diagnosis of osteoporosis, (b) determining the degree of osteopenia and risk of fracture, and (c) monitoring the response of bone to therapeutic agents. Fracture risk at specific axial fracture sites (spine, proximal femur), is associated directly with bone mineral density (BMD) at these sites. ROC analysis demonstrates that the diagnostic sensitivity of spine and femur BMD for spine and/or femur fracture is substantially superior to BMD of appendicular sites in the immediate postmenopausal period. Femoral neck BMD affords high diagnostic sensitivity for proximal femur fracture even in the elderly. Recent prospective studies have shown that bone densitometry can predict future fractures in postmenopausal women. Conventional DPA with 153Gd provides high accuracy for total body, spine, and femur BMD with adequate clinical precision of 1%, 2% and 3%, respectively. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), using either switched kVp or by k-edge filtering, offers better precision; typically the precision error is halved. The higher flux available from x-ray sources provides other advantages over DPA, including: improved spatial resolution (2 vs 4 mm), reduced radiation exposure (1 vs 2 mrem), and decreased scan times (3 to 10X). Improved DPA systems, with automatic gain stabilization to minimize drift, could offer clinical precision comparable to DEXA but the scan time and spatial resolution remain as before. Both DPA and DEXA allow detection of therapeutic efficacy in individual patients over the first year or two of therapy.

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