Measurement of forearm bone mineral density in normal women by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry

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We report the results of forearm measurements, without the use of a water bath, using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) in 100 normal women aged 29-69 years (average age, 52 years). Studies were performed using the Hologic QDR-1000, with bone mineral density (BMD) measured at three sites in the non-dominant forearm: ultradistal, distal one-third and a region between these two. The precision of the technique was 0.74%, 0.55% and 0.58%, respectively. The normal range for forearm BMD and variation with age was established. BMD was also measured in the lumbar spine (L1-L4) and femoral neck. Linear regression analysis gave a range of correlation coefficients between forearm and axial sites of r = 0.49-0.67. Standard errors of the estimate (SEE) in predicting axial from peripheral measurements gave average values from the three forearm sites of 0.085 g/cm2 for the femoral neck and 0.118 g/cm2 for the spine. Forearm measurements using DEXA can now be reliably performed in air. DEXA produces a high-resolution image, is fast and simple to perform, and enables both cortical and trabecular sites to be examined in one measurement. Forearm and axial measurements can be performed using the same equipment, where centres possess a suitable DEXA system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-31
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Issue number770
Publication statusPublished - 1992


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