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Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry visceral adipose tissue estimates: reproducibility and impact of pre-assessment diet

European Journal of Clinical Nutritionvolume 72pages609612 (2018) | Download Citation


We examined the reproducibility of dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) visceral adipose tissue (VAT) estimates as well as the impact of pre-assessment diet. In a counterbalanced design, 41 adults received 6 DXA scans, while consuming standardized high- and low-carbohydrate (LC) diets. The impact of pre-assessment diet was examined via repeated-measures analysis of variance and reproducibility of VAT estimates was evaluated by technical error of measurement (TEM) and s.e. of a single determination (SESD). VAT area, mass and volume were acutely decreased by ~ 6.5% after the LC diet (P ≤ 0.001), but not the high-carbohydrate diet (P > 0.3). Differences persisted after an overnight fast. TEMs for VAT area, mass and volume were < 5 cm2, ≤ 0.2 kg and < 25 cm3. SESDs for all VAT variables were ≤ 5.5%. In conclusion, DXA VAT estimates exhibit good reproducibility in controlled conditions, but may be impacted by pre-assessment diet.

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The original data collection was supported by Baylor University and the present analysis was supported by Texas Tech University.

Author information


  1. Department of Kinesiology and Sport Management, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA

    • Grant M Tinsley
  2. Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, Baylor University, Waco, TX, USA

    • Jeffrey S Forsse
    • , Elisa Morales
    •  & Peter W Grandjean


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Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Grant M Tinsley.

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