Bone and Mineral, 19 (1992) 97 38 0169-6009/92/%05.00 Q 1992 ElsevierScience Publishers B.V. All rights reserved,


BAM 00479

Letter to the Editor

Acronymsin bone densitometry

In response to our publication [l], Wilson and colleagues [2] proposed the adoption of a uniform terminology and corresponding abbreviation for dual Xray absorptiometry (DXA). We supported this suggestion [3]. Since then, the number of papers on DXA has increased considerably. Still, different abbreviations (DEXA, DER, DRA, QDR and DPX) for this technique for bone densitometry are used, several of which are proprietary in origin. DXA is the upgraded version of DPA (dual photon absorptiometry). The nuclear source has been replaced by an X-ray source and this improved technology has gained widespread acceptance and distribution. Recently, similar deve!opments in SPA (single photon absorptiometry) have occurred, which will add yet another abbreviation to densitometryterminology: SXA for single X-ray absorptiometry, not the alternative SEXA. Users and manufacturers of these techniques have now joined efforts in an International Standards Committee [4]. In this Committee, standards of calibration, measurement units and terminology are discussed. There is a general agreement that standard abbreviations for bone densitometry techniques are necessary and the term DXA has been accepted. Therefore, again we would like to emphasize the use of the acronym DXA for dual X-ray absorptiometry and add the acronym SXA for single X-ray absorptiometry. When we confine ourselves to SPA, SXA, DPA and DXA, next to QCT for quantitative computed tomography, both researchers and clinicians will understand what we mean. Still, good acronyms for ultrasound attenuation and velocity measurements and for magnetic resonance measurements, both for quantifying bone mineral density and structure, have to be agreed upon. Acronyms such as QUS for quantitative ultrasound and QMR for quantitative magnetic resonance would be consistent with QCT. Such terminology, however, would clearly need con-

sensus development. References 1 Gliier CC, Steiger P, Selvidge R. Ellicsen-Kliefoth K, Hayashi C, Genant HK. Comparative assessment of dual-photon absorptiometry and dual-energy radiography. Radiology 1990;174:223228.


Wilson CR. Collier D, Carrera GF, Jacobson DR. Acronym for dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Radiology 1990;176:875. 3 Gliier CC, Steiyr P, Genant HK. (Reply). Radiology 1990;176:875-876. 4 Nord RH, Stein JA, Mazess RB, Pommet RP, (Letter). Bone Miner 1991;13:85.

Marry K. Genant, MD Claus C- Glider,PhD Kenneth G. Faulkner, PhD Shar~ib Mqjumdar, PhD Steve T,. Harris, MD Klaus Engelke,PhD Cornelis van Kuijk, MD, PhD Osteoporo& Research Group Departmentof Radiology Universityof CaliforniaSan Francisco San Francisco, CA 94143-0628, USA

Acronyms in bone densitometry.

Bone and Mineral, 19 (1992) 97 38 0169-6009/92/%05.00 Q 1992 ElsevierScience Publishers B.V. All rights reserved, 97 BAM 00479 Letter to the Editor...
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