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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 236-240

Discordant interpretation of serial bone mineral density measurements by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry using vendor's and institutional least significant changes: Serious impact on decision-making

Department of Radiology, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Maseeh Uz Zaman
Department of Radiology, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/wjnm.WJNM_69_17

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Meaningful change in bone mineral density (BMD) should be equal or higher than institutional least significant change (LSC). But some facilities use vendor's LSC which is discouraged by International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD). The aim of this study was to find the impact of scan interpretation upon interval BMD changes using vendors and institutional LSCs. This prospective study was conducted at Joint Commission International-accredited facility of Pakistan from April–June 2017 using Hologic Discovery-A scanner. As per ISCD recommendations, precision error and LSC of two technologists were measured. Serial BMD changes such as deterioration or improvement interpreted based on vendor's and institutional LSCs were compared. Serial BMD changes in 102 patients were included, having a mean age, male:female ratio, and mean body mass index of 63 years, 94%:06%, and 29.274 kg/m2, respectively. Mean menopausal age was 47 years and mean duration between two dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) studies was 3 years. BMD changes over hip were found significant in 55% and 53% cases against vendor's and institutional LSCs, respectively (nonsignificant discordance in 2%). BMD changes using vendor's and institutional LSCs were found significant over L1-4 (62% vs. 46%; discordance: 14%) and distal forearm (77% vs. 35%; discordance: 41%), respectively. Interpretations based on vendor's LSCs revealed significantly overestimated deterioration over forearm and improvement over L1-4 BMD values. We conclude that vendor's provided LSC for interpretation of serial DXA is misleading and has a significant negative impact upon patients' management. Every DXA facility must use its own LSC as per ISCD guidelines. Furthermore, ISCD must consider publishing cutoff values for LSC for distal forearm measurement.

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