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Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 37, Issue 7, pp 625–635

First Online: 13 April 2007Received: 27 December 2006Revised: 08 February 2007Accepted: 01 March 2007


Normal bone mineral accrual requires adequate dietary intake of calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients; hepatic and renal activation of vitamin D; normal hormone levels thyroid, parathyroid, reproductive and growth hormones; and neuromuscular functioning with sufficient stress upon the skeleton to induce bone deposition. The presence of genetic or acquired diseases and the therapies that are used to treat them can also impact bone health. Since the introduction of clinical DXA in pediatrics in the early 1990s, there has been considerable investigation into the causes of low bone mineral density BMD in children. Pediatricians have also become aware of the role adequate bone mass accrual in childhood has in preventing osteoporotic fractures in late adulthood. Additionally, the availability of medications to improve BMD has increased with the development of bisphosphonates. These factors have led to the increased utilization of DXA in pediatrics. This review summarizes much of the previous research regarding BMD in children and is meant to assist radiologists and clinicians with DXA utilization and interpretation.

KeywordsDXA Bone mineral density Pediatrics Osteoporosis AbbreviationsALLacute lymphocytic leukemia

BMCbone mineral content

BMDbone mineral density

CFcystic fibrosis


DXAdual energy X-ray absorptiometry

JRAjuvenile rheumatoid arthritis

LSlumbar spine

TBBMCtotal body bone mineral content

TBBMDtotal body bone mineral density

WBIwhole brain irradiation

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Author: Larry A. Binkovitz - Paul Sparke - Maria J. Henwood



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