Age-predicted values for lumbar spine, proximal femur, and whole-body bone mineral density: results from a population of normal children aged 3 to 18 years.
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We measured areal bone mineral density (BMD) with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) at the lumbar spine and the proximal femur and for the total body in 179 subjects (91 girls and 88 boys) with no known disorders that might affect calcium metabolism. Results are also reported for lumbar spine bone mineral content (BMC) and for the derived variable, bone mineral apparent density (BMAD). Expected-for-age values for each variable were derived for boys and girls by using an expression that represented the sum of a steady increase due to growth plus a rapid increase associated with puberty. Normal ranges were derived by assuming that at least 95% of children would be included within 1.96 population standard deviations (SD) of the expected-for-age value. The normal range for lumbar spine BMD derived from our population of children was compared with previously published normal ranges based on results obtained from different bone densitometers in diverse geographic locations. The extent of agreement between the various normal ranges indicates that the derived expressions can be used for reporting routine spine, femur, and whole-body BMD measurements in children and adolescents. The greatest difference in expected-for-age values among the various studies was that arising from intermanufacturer variability. The application of published conversion factors derived from DXA measurements in adults did not account fully for these differences, especially in younger children.
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