Adult dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in clinical practice: How i report it

Carmelo Messina, Luca Maria Sconfienza, Michele Bandirali, Giuseppe Guglielmi, Fabio Massimo Ulivieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several imaging methods for the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis exist. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the most widely available and commonly used for measuring bone mineral density (BMD). Central DXA has several advantages: It has very good reproducibility, administers a negligible radiation dose to the patient, and BMD values obtained by DXA relate to fracture risk. Nevertheless, DXA has some technical limitations that should be recognized by those physicians who interpret and report this examination. We provide recommendations for optimal DXA scan reporting in adults, including indications, skeletal sites to be measured, serial BMD measurements, and fracture risk assessment. In conclusion, DXA is the standard of reference in evaluating BMD and is effective in following up patients over time. Adequate reporting and analysis of previous DXA examinations is crucial to manage patients correctly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-253
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Musculoskeletal Radiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2016


  • bone mineral density
  • dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry
  • osteoporosis
  • report

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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