Precision and accuracy for rat whole body and femur bone mineral determination with dual X-ray absorptiometry

S. Hagiwara, Nancy E Lane, K. Engelke, A. Sebastian, D. B. Kimmel, H. K. Genant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Precision and accuracy for rat whole body and excised femur bone mineral density (BMD) measurements were evaluated with two dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) systems. The 'small subject' mode on the Norland XR-26 (XR), and the 'ultra high resolution mode' on the Hologic QDR-1000/W(QDR) were used for the analysis. The whole body mode was only available on the XR. The lowest precision error for the whole body was found using a scan resolution of 1.0 x 1.0 mm and a scan speed of 15 mm/s. The scan spatial resolution of the femur measurement was approximately eight times higher on the QDR than on the XR. However, the XR allowed analysis of an arbitrary region of interest within the femur, which was not easily done with the QDR. Precision for the total femur measurement on the QDR (0.5-0.9%) was approximately two to four times superior to that of the XR (1.5-4.3%). The difference may be due to the superior scan resolution of the QDR. Bone mineral content and BMD on the QDR significantly declined with an increase of water depth (P < 0.001). No significant change was observed on the XR. Both DXA systems demonstrated an excellent correlation (r ≥ 0.98) with ash weight under the scan conditions examined. The optimal scan condition for the excised femur measurement on the XR was obtained with 1.5-2.5 cm of perspex or water and a scan speed of 10 mm/s. For the QDR, we recommend scanning the rat femur with approximately 2.5 cm of perspex or water in terms of precision and accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-68
Number of pages12
JournalBone and Mineral
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Accuracy
  • Ash weight
  • Bone mineral content (BMC)
  • Bone mineral density (BMD)
  • Dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)
  • Precision
  • Rat femur

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Surgery


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