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Body Composition Analysis Studies

Elkhart General Hospital Regional Center for Bone Health offers Body Composition Analysis Studies to promote health and wellness for patients. Using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), the Lunar iDXA can analyze bone density and body composition as it relates to lean muscle versus fatty tissues. Useful information is provided to guide patients as healthy lifestyle interventions are employed.

The iDXA body composition report provides trending data regarding the percent of lean muscle versus fatty tissue in specific body areas. An estimate of the resting metabolic rate is included as well as the "waist to hip" ratio and the relative skeletal muscle index.

A DXA scan is painless and the patient is not enclosed by the equipment at any stage during the scanning process. The scanner itself consists of a large, flat table which the patient lies on during the scan. Beneath the table is an X-ray generator. The Lunar iDXA sends a thin, invisible beam of very low-dose X-rays through the body. Some of these X-rays are absorbed by the tissues in the body such as fat and bone. An arm is suspended above the table and passes over the patient's body during the scanning process. This arm contains an X-ray detector that measures the amount of X-rays that have passed through the body. The information collected by the arm is then used to generate an image of the body. During the scanning procedure the patient must hold very still. This ensures that the image taken is not blurred. A full body DXA scan usually takes approximately 10 minutes. The amount of radiation energy that is used with DXA is extremely small. You would need to have approximately 800 full-body DXA scans before being exposed to the same amount of radiation received from one standard chest X-ray. In fact, the level of radiation is so low that DXA is approved by the FDA as a screening device to predict body composition. Usually, X-ray devices are reserved as diagnostic instruments because of the amount of radiation they impart, but not so for the DXA.

As patients participate in Elkhart General Hospital's weight loss, cardiac health or exercise programs, progress can be illustrated through body composition analysis. This provides patients with more meaningful feedback than their body weight alone. Areas of the body are highlighted with a color map correlating to tissue type. Changes regarding body fat versus lean muscle are illustrated on easy-to-read graphs and charts. This is a great way to keep patients' enthusiasm for participation in healthy programs strong.

**Patients must be at least 18 years old, not pregnant, and under 450 pounds.

For More Information

To schedule a Body Composition Analysis appointment, please call Integrated Patient Scheduling at 574-523-3444. For more information, call the Regional Center for Bone Health at 574-523-2751, Option 2