Dual X-ray absorptiometry forearm software: Accuracy and intermachine relationship



An ash study was performed to analyze the accuracy of forearm measurements at the one-third site of three dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) systems using 20 cadavers. A Hologic QDR-2000, a Hologic QDR-1000/W, and a Lunar DPX-L system were used. The correlations between ash weight and DXA BMC were excellent for the three instruments (r > 0.97, p < 0.001), with accuracy errors < 5.2%. To perform a forearm cross-calibration of bone mineral content (BMC) and density (BMD) between the scanners, 10 healthy volunteers were additionally scanned at the distal one-third radius. The correlations among the DXA machines were excellent (r > 0.95); the absolute BMC and BMD values were significantly different between the two Hologics and the Lunar machine. The slope and intercept of both the BMC and BMD between the two Hologic systems were close to unity. In conclusion, the DXA forearm software packages provide accurate methods for assessing bone mineral content and density. The conversion of data among different manufacturers should be performed by careful cross-calibration measurements.