Korean J Pediatr.  2010 Mar;53(3):286-293. 10.3345/kjp.2010.53.3.286.

Pediatric dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry: interpretation and clinical and research application

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Korean Cancer Center Hospital, Seoul, Korea. limjs@kcch.re.kr


Peak bone mass is established predominately during childhood and adolescence. It is an important determinant of future resistance to osteoporosis and fractures to gain bone mass during growth. The issue of low bone density in children and adolescents has recently attracted much attention and the use of pediatric dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is increasing. The process of interpretation of pediatric DXA results is different from that of adults because normal bone mineral density (BMD) of children varies by age, body size, pubertal stage, skeletal maturation, sex, and ethnicity. Thus, an appropriate normal BMD Z-score reference value with Z-score should be used to detect and manage low BMD. Z-scores below -2.0 are generally considered a low BMD to pediatrician even though diagnoses of osteoporosis in children and adolescents are usually only made in the presence of at least one fragility fracture.


Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; Osteoporosis; Low bone mineral density; Fracture; Child; Adolescent
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