A new program for measuring bone density in children is spurring much-needed research into a key part of development. Using Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA), technologists send a pair of low-dose gamma-rays through both cortical bones, like hips, and trabecular bones, like the spine. The resulting images help illuminate the strong links between deficient bone mass and a range of pediatric health concerns. "Investigators across subspecialties are examining the effect of several chronic diseases, such as anorexia nervosa and inflammatory bowel disease, on bone development," says Catherine Gordon, MD, MSc,
director of Children's Hospital Boston's Bone Health Program. "The program also has a strong clinical mission, including the measurement of bone density for local health providers and the coordination of outpatient clinic evaluations."