The 4 different DEXA scan manufacturers are MEDILINK, Norland, GE-Lunar, and Hologic. Here at Body & Bone we decided to use Medilink because there is an important difference between them all.
While all dexa scans calculate body composition and bone density with good precision across all manufacturers (Kohrt, 1997), the Medilink DEXA system produces the highest quality image. It has 256 detector elements, compared with GE-Lunar with 64 and Hologic 128.
Medilink elements are stacked allowing multiple focal depths, meaning better sensitivity, and allowing it to calculate intramuscular fat which none of the others are able to do!
But what is INTRAMUSCULAR FAT?
It is the fat in your muscles rather than the subcutaneous fat located under the skin (pinchy fat). While it has been largely ignored, intramuscular fat provides fuel to the body. A practical example is nicely marbled Wagyu steak, showing lots of fat through the muscle fibres.
This type of fat can help body builders have fuller looking muscles, and it can provide long term energy for endurance athletes who don’t have extra fat under the skin to use as a fuel source. Meaning that everyone has intramuscular fat no matter how lean they are.
Medilink's image is broken up into pixels as it has higher resolution. Lower resolution scanners produce a simplified composition image, ‘painting’ entire regions with colours failing to show any detail of fat deposits. Some DEXA brands are prone to beam hardening, where the machine is unable to detect the smaller lower density fatty deposits within the higher density lean tissue.
This key difference results in other DEXA scanners underestimate true body fat percentage, so we chose to use Medilink DEXA, the only scanner able to read intramuscular fat!
Check below other differences between DEXA machines and see why Medilink DEXA used at Body & Bone is the best DEXA Scan available to you.
Reference: Kohrt, W. M. (1997). Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry: research issues and equipment. Emerging Technologies for Nutrition Research: Potential for Assessing Military Performance Capability, 151.