J Bone Metab.  2020 Nov;27(4):291-299. 10.11005/jbm.2020.27.4.291.

Validation of Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance in the Analysis of Body Composition in Mice

  • 1Department of Physical Education, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Korea
  • 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Korea
  • 3Department of Convergence of Medical Science, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Korea
  • 4Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


As an instrument for measuring body composition in experimental animals, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is ideal for accuracy, cost, and measurement efficiency. However, there is too little insight into the effectiveness of the various aspects of applying DXA to experimental animals. We investigated whether to compare and verify the precision and accuracy of DXA and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) animal body composition analyzers.
We used 30 Institution of Cancer Research mice in the study. First, in order to evaluate the reproducibility of DXA and NMR, we did repeated measurements by repositioning each mouse in anesthesia and euthanasia states. Subsequently, the accuracy of each device was evaluated by comparing the weight measured before the experiment, the weight of the tissue extracted from the mice after the experiment, and the measured DXA and NMR. In addition, when measuring the body composition of animals, we compared the time and the measurable body composition parameters and summarized the advantages and disadvantages of the 2 devices.
Compared to NMR, DXA had the advantage of a fast measurement of bone composition and rapid image analysis. In addition, DXA showed a higher correlation (>95%) with fat mass, lean mass baseline than did NMR (>85%).
In conclusion, DXA was confirmed to have higher precision and measurement accuracy than did NMR. Therefore, DXA is an effective method for evaluating the body composition of experimental animals.


Absorptiometry, photon; Body composition; Magnetic resonance spectroscopy; Mice
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