Lumbar bone mineral content measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry in newborns and infants


BL Salle, Department of Neonatology, Edouard Herriot Hospital, Place d'Arsonval6943 7, Lyon Cedex 03, France


Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), a non-invasive method for measuring small amounts of mineral, was used to assess the bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine (5 vertebrae) in 57 newborns (on day 1-2) and 22 infants (1-24 months of age). A modified high-resolution program (Hologic) allowed us to assess BMC and BMD with a precision higher than 2.4% and 1.5%, respectively. In newborns, BMC and BMD correlated positively with birth weight, body area, length and gestational age:r= 0.73, 0.71, 0.63 and 0.60, respectively, for BMC; and r=0.59, 0.58, 0.54 and 0.53, respectively, for BMD. In infants, both BMC and BMD were highly correlated with weight, age, length and body area over two years (r= 0.94 or better in each instance). The data provide normal values for lumbar spine BMC and BMD in newborns (gestational age 31-40) and infants up to two years of age; DXA appears to be an excellent and safe tool for pediatric bone mineral measurements.