Reproducibility of DXA-based bone strain index and the influence of body mass: an in vivo study

Carmelo Messina, Luca Petruccio Piodi, Luca Rinaudo, Ciriaco Buonomenna, Luca Maria Sconfienza, Laura Vergani, Fabio Massimo Ulivieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Bone strain index (BSI) is a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-derived index of bone strength obtained from lumbar densitometric scan. We estimated the reproducibility of BSI in healthy women with different body mass index.

METHODS: We enrolled postmenopausal women (mean age ± SD: 66 ± 10 years) divided into three groups (A, B and C) according to body mass index (BMI: < 25; 25-29.9; ≥ 30 kg/m2) and two groups (D and E) according to waist circumference (WC: ≤ 88; > 88 cm), each of 30 subjects. They underwent two DXA examinations with in-between repositioning, according to the International Society for Clinical Densitometry guidelines for precision estimation. Bone mineral density (BMD) and BSI were expressed as g/cm2 and absolute value, respectively. The coefficient of variation (CoV) was calculated as the ratio between root-mean-square standard deviation and mean; least significant change percentage (LSC%) as 2.77 × CoV; reproducibility as the complement to 100% LSC.

RESULTS: BSI increased proportionally to BMI and WC and significantly in group C compared to B and A (p = 0.032 and 0.006, respectively). BSI was significantly higher in E compared to D (p = 0.017), whereas no differences were observed in BMD. Although BSI reproducibility was slightly lower in group C (89%), the differences were not significant between all groups. BMD reproducibility did not significantly differ between all groups.

CONCLUSIONS: BSI reproducibility was significantly lower than that of BMD and decreased proportionally to BMI and WC increase. This reduction of BSI reproducibility was more pronounced in patients with BMI ≥ 30 and WC > 88, as expected, being BSI a parameter sensible to weight.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRadiologia Medica
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Dec 27 2019


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