Original Article

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication 5 April 2017; doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2017.35

Predicting skeletal muscle mass from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in Japanese prepubertal children

T Midorikawa1, M Ohta2, Y Hikihara3, S Torii4 and S Sakamoto4

  1. 1College of Health and Welfare, J.F. Oberlin University, Machida, Tokyo, Japan
  2. 2School of International Liberal Studies, Chukyo University, Toyota-shi, Aichi, Japan
  3. 3Faculty of Creative Engineering, Chiba Institute of Technology, Narashino, Chiba, Japan
  4. 4Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan

Correspondence: Dr T Midorikawa, College of Health and Welfare, J.F. Oberlin University, 3758 Tokiwamachi, Machida, Tokyo 194-0294, Japan. E-mail: taishi@obirin.ac.jp

Received 6 May 2016; Revised 30 January 2017; Accepted 3 February 2017
Advance online publication 5 April 2017





We aimed to develop regression-based prediction equations for estimating total and regional skeletal muscle mass (SMM) from measurements of lean soft tissue mass (LSTM) using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and investigate the validity of these equations.



In total, 144 healthy Japanese prepubertal children aged 6–12 years were divided into 2 groups: the model development group (62 boys and 38 girls) and the validation group (26 boys and 18 girls). Contiguous MRI images with a 1-cm slice thickness were obtained from the first cervical vertebra to the ankle joints as reference data. The SMM was calculated from the summation of the digitized cross-sectional areas. Total and regional LSTM was measured using DXA.



Strong significant correlations were observed between the site-matched SMM (total, arms, trunk and legs) measured by MRI and the LSTM obtained by DXA in the model development group for both boys and girls (R2adj=0.86–0.97, P<0.01, standard error of the estimate (SEE)=0.08–0.44kg). When these SMM prediction equations were applied to the validation group, the measured total (boys 9.47±2.21kg; girls 8.18±2.62kg) and regional SMM were very similar to the predicted values for both boys (total SMM 9.40±2.39kg) and girls (total SMM 8.17±2.57kg). The results of the Bland–Altman analysis for the validation group did not indicate any bias for either boys or girls with the exception of the arm region for the girls.



These results suggest that the DXA-derived prediction equations are precise and accurate for the estimation of total and regional SMM in Japanese prepubertal boys and girls.

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