The Importance of Precision in Densitometry

  • Sydney Lou Bonnick
Part of the Current Clinical Practice book series (CCP)


The concept of precision was introduced in Chapter 3. Current bone densitometry technology cannot perfectly reproduce BMD results from test to test, even when there has been no real change in the patients BMD. If there is any additional error introduced by the failure of the technician to perfectly reposition and correctly analyze the results, the precision of the test will be adversely affected even more. This being the case, how can a physician determine if any measured change in BMD is a real, biologic change, and not simply the error that is inherent in the technique, or the error introduced by the technician? The first step is to determine the short-term precision for each type of scan that is performed at the densitometry facility. Short-term precision implies that the precision has been determined using repeat studies performed within the space of a week to no more than a month. In a medium-term precision study, the scans have been acquired over a period of time that spans 1 to 6 months. A long-term precision study implies data acquisition that spans more than 6 months.


Measured Change Statistical Confidence Bone Densitometry Real Change Precision Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Gluer CC, Blake G, Lu Y, Blunt BA, Genant HK (1995) Accurate assessment of precision errors: how to measure the reproducibility errors of bone densitometry techniques. Osteoporosis Int 5: 262 - 270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lees B, Stevenson JC (1992) An evaluation of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and comparison with dual-photon absorptiometry. Osteoporosis Int 2: 146 - 152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sydney Lou Bonnick
    • 1
  1. 1.Texas Woman’s UniversityDentonUSA

Personalised recommendations