The technique of body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) has been used for several years in the research environment. Its ability to accurately and precisely measure lean, fat, and mineral composition in various body compartments has been well validated. Furthermore, the technique is widely available to clinical patients on existing DXA instruments throughout the world through the use of specific software packages and scanning algorithms. There have been few clear statements regarding the clinical indications for body composition measurement in patients outside the research setting. This is in part because of the lack of specific documented interventions that would be affected by body composition test results, beyond usual clinical advice. We have examined a few of the most common, specific scenarios (HIV therapy, sarcopenia, bariatric surgery, obesity) and proposed indications for body composition assessment. We have also discussed contraindications to body composition testing.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging