Human Imaging Suite

Lunar iDXA (Dual X-ray absorptiometry) scanner

Lunar iDXA scannerDual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is a non-invasive gold standard technique for the measurement of bone mineral density (BMD), an indicator of bone health. The Lunar iDXA offers research grade image resolution to deliver crisp, high resolution images of the vertebrae (e.g. hip and spine), with calculation and comparison of BMD data to a normal population to give an indication of osteoporosis risk

Historically DXA has only been used to assess BMD. However the Lunar iDXA can also accurately measure total body composition, assessing bone, fat and lean tissue mass within one short (15-20 min) body scan. Automated software calculates regional percentage body fat and BMD in the trunk and in the arms and legs on both sides of the body, and the percentage of body fat distributed around the stomach (android fat distribution) and hips (gynoid fat distribution). The advance software package, CoreScan, also determines the mass and volume of visceral fat within the abdomen, an indicator of conditions such as the metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes. A paediatric application is also available to assess growth and development in children.

Mirror imaging software allows scanning of study participants up to 204 kg (32 stones) and 1.93 m (6ft 4 inches) in height. The DXA scanner uses a low dose of ionising (X-ray) radiation to determine bone, fat and lean tissue mass so this technique is not suitable for use in studies with pregnant women. Local NHS ethics approval is required for studies using the DXA scanner.


This is an ultrasound-based diagnostic medical imaging technique used to visualize muscles, tendons, and many internal organs, to capture their size, structure and any pathological lesions with real time tomographic images.  Ultrasound images (sonograms) are made by sending a pulse of ultrasound into tissue using an ultrasound transducer (probe). The sound reflects and echoes off parts of the tissue; this echo is recorded and displayed as an image to the operator.


These facilities are located in the Food Biosciences Building within the Hugh Sinclair Human Nutrition Group; part of Food and Nutritional Sciences...

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ICMR, School of
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University of Reading
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