European Journal of Nuclear Medicine

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 38–40

Variation between femurs as measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)

  • M. L. Hall
  • J. Heavens
  • P. J. Ell
Short Communication

Abstract

It is commonly assumed that there is minimal variation between the hips in an individual, but is densitometry of one femur representative of the other? We performed bone mineral density (BMD) measurements of both hips using a Hologic QDR 1000 densitometer. There were 110 patients, all of whom were right handed, and three main groups of subjects: (1) normal volunteers (n = 36); (2) subjects with known hip pathology (n = 36); (3) subjects with medical conditions not affecting the hip (n = 38). The mean age of the subjects was 46 (21–87) years and a standard analysis protocol was followed in all patients. The coefficient of variation (COV) for femurs was 0.9–3%, depending upon the region studied and the BMD. The left femur had a greater BMD 48% of the time and there were variable differences between femurs in each group studied. While the greatest differences were found in people with unilateral hip pathology, all groups had mean differences greater than the COV It may be acceptable to study only one hip, but the large variation between femurs in individuals should be borne in mind when interpreting data.

Key words

Bone mineral density Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) Femur Biological variation 

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References

  1. Cullum ID, Ell PJ, Ryder JP (1989) X-ray dual photon absorptiometry: a new method for the measurement of bone density. Br J Radiol 62:587–592Google Scholar
  2. Hall ML, Heavens J, Cullum ID, Ell PJ (1990) The range of bone density in normal British women. Br J Radiol 63:266–269Google Scholar
  3. Pye DW, Hannan WJ, Hesp R (1990) Effective dose equivalent in dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (Letter). Br J Radiol 63:149Google Scholar
  4. Stein JA, Hochberg AM, Lazewatsky L (1988) Quantitative digital radiography for bone mineral analysis. In: Bone mineral measurements by photon absorptiometry: methodological/problems. Leuven University Press, Leuven, pp 411–414Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. L. Hall
    • 1
  • J. Heavens
    • 1
  • P. J. Ell
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Nuclear MedicineUCMSMLondonUK

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