Dual X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) is the standard method for the clinical evaluation of osteoporosis. DXA permits the measurement of areal bone mineral density (aBMD) at the lumbar spine and the proximal femur. Osteoporosis can be diagnoses by a clinical assessment including a DXA measurement which demonstrates an aBMD of lower than -2.5 standard deviations below the level of young healthy individuals (T-Score < -2.5). According to the German osteoporosis guidelines developed by the Dachverband Osteologie (DVO) the risk of future fracture can be estimated by aBMD in conjunction with clinical risk factors and such risk evaluation serve to determine whether treatment with medication to treat osteoporosis is indicated.
The Clinic of Radiology and Neuroradiology operates a Discovery A (Hologic, Inc., Bedford, MA, USA) DXA device. The device features a C-arm to measure in posterior-anterior and lateral direction without repositioning the patient. A whole body measurement mode permits not only the determination of aBMD of the entire skeleton but also the assessment of arterial calcifications and vertebral fracture status (VFA). Moreover, the evaluation of body composition permits the quantification of fat and muscle content. Such measurements are particularly relevant for studying nutritional aspects and muscular disorders such as sarcopenia.