BACKGROUND: In recent years interest in bone densitometry in children has increased.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical application of digital X-ray radiogrammetry (DXR) and compare the results with those of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 41 children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and 26 children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) were included in this longitudinal study. Radiographs of the left hand were obtained and used for DXR. DXA of the total body and of the lumbar spine was performed.
RESULTS: In both study populations significant correlations between DXR and DXA were found, and, with the exception of the correlation between DXR bone mineral density (DXR-BMD) and bone mineral apparent density in the GHD population, all correlations had a P-value of <0.001. During treatment a change in DXR-BMD was found in children with GHD.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that DXR in a paediatric population shows a strong correlation with DXA of the lumbar spine and total body and that it is able to detect a change in BMD during treatment.