Articles | Volume 53, issue 2
10 Oct 2010
 | 10 Oct 2010

Comparison of a GE Lunar DPX-IQ and a Norland XR-26 dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scanner for body composition measurements in pigs – in vivo

D. Lösel, P. Kremer, E. Albrecht, and A. M. Scholz

Abstract. In the context of future growth and performance testing, this study compares corresponding body composition results measured by two dual energy X-ray absorptiometry systems. To test the capability of each device to detect differences among experimental groups widely varying in body composition, 77 pigs from 6 purebred/crossbred groups were used for the experiment. Each pig was scanned consecutively on a Norland XR-26 and on a GE Lunar DPX-IQ. Coefficients of determination were: R²=0.92 for bone mineral content (BMC), R²=0.90 for bone mineral density (BMD), R²=0.94 for lean mass (LEAN), R²=0.92 for fat mass (FAT), R²=0.88 for lean percentage (%LEAN) and fat percentage (%FAT). However, Norland yielded larger values for %FAT and smaller values for %LEAN, BMC, and BMD than Lunar (P<0.001) with the extent of deviation depending on the specific trait and on the breeding group. The deviation in BMC was greater than the deviation in BMD, suggesting different bone detecting algorithms. Both systems revealed similar differences among the breeding groups, and ranked them in the same order based on numerical values. Differences in calibration, bone detection, and software algorithms, however, require a prior crosscalibration to make the body composition data from both systems directly comparable. Finally, they can be used across research centres for the determination of relative and absolute body composition differences among animal groups and individuals.