Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry

Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)

Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the most widely available and utilised quantitative method for diagnosis of osteoporosis and assessment of fracture risk. The strengths of DXA are low radiation dose (1–6μSv) and rapid scanning (1–2min); it provides an ‘areal’ bone mineral density (BMD; g/cm2) of integral (cortical and trabecular) bone. A limitation is that the measures are size dependent, a particular problem in growing children. A number of methods have been suggested to correct for this size dependency but there is no consensus yet on which is ideal. Diagnosis of osteoporosis in made by DXA in the hip, lumbar spine and distal 1/3 radius using a T score of ≤ 2.5. Introduction of the WHO FRAX® 10-year fracture risk assessment tool will improve clinical use of DXA and the cost effectiveness of therapeutic interventions for osteoporosis. An important clinical development in DXA is vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) which is being increasingly applied. Whole body DXA provides total and regional BMD, lean and fat mass measurements and recently android/gynoid ratio and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) results have become available. Extended research applications include hip strength analysis (HAS) and trabecular bone score (TBS), but their role in clinical practice is still to be determined.


Bone Mineral Density Bone Mineral Content Bone Mineral Density Measurement Strontium Ranelate Trabecular Bone Score 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Manchester Academic Health Science Centre and Radiology DepartmentManchester Royal InfirmaryManchesterUK

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