Technical Considerations in Advanced Clinical Body Composition Evaluation

Overview: Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) body composition measurements are increasingly utilized in the evaluation of clinical obesity,1,2 muscle loss and wasting (sarcopenia),3 and abnormal patterns of fat distribution (lipodystrophy).4 Obesity is widely recognized as a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.5 Sarcopenia has been shown to be highly predictive of functional disability in the elderly,6 and lipodystrophy is a major complication of antiretroviral treatments.7 In addition to detecting abnormalities in body composition, DXA is also employed to evaluate the effects of diet and exercise in health clinics8, 9 and physical training in athletes and military recruits.10