Effects of a New Positioner on the Precision of Hip Bone Mineral Density Measurements



In an attempt to reduce patient positioning errors, the authors tested the use of a new hip-specific positioning tool, OsteoDyne's Hip Positioner System (HPS). The HPS is an “A” frame splint designed to abduct both legs approximately 15° to hold them in full extension at the hips and knees and to lock the feet in a neutral position. Seventy volunteer women aged 35–82 years were randomly assigned in two age-matched groups (mean age 56 years). Each group underwent two consecutive femur dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans with intermediate repositioning using the HPS system and two others utilizing the standard hip positioner provided with Hologic and Lunar scanners. One technician performed all scans using a Hologic QDR 1000-Plus and Lunar DPX-Plus densitometer. One hundred and fifty volunteer women aged 50–84 years (mean age, 64 years) were recruited in a multicenter study for the assessment of precision. Each subject underwent three consecutive femur DXA scans with intermediate repositioning using the HPS system. The coefficient of variation (CV) was significantly improved at the femoral neck by the use of the HPS with 0.7 versus 1.2 with the Hologic densitometer but only moderately altered at other sites. Similar results were found with the Lunar densitometer with improvement of precision at the femoral neck, 0.8 versus 1.8 with a similar trend but no significant difference at the other regions. No statistical difference was noted between the femoral neck BMD measured with the HPS system and with the standard positioners in either group. The mean precision of data obtained on the QDR 1000+ was 0.8% (range 0.1–1.4) for the femoral neck BMD, 1.1% (range 0.1–3.0) for the trochanter BMD, 2.3% (range 0.2–5.2) for Ward's triangle BMD, and 0.8% (range 0.1–1.9) for the total femur BMD. The mean precision of data obtained on the QDR 2000 was 0.7% (range 0.1–2), 1% (range 0.1–4.9), 2.6% (range 0.3–5.7), and 0.7% (range 0.1–1.8), respectively. In conclusion, data obtained with the new OsteoDyne's HPS seem capable of reducing patient positioning errors for the hip measurement. Its use is likely to improve confidence in hip bone mineral density measurements.