Salud Pública de México
versión impresa ISSN 0036-3634
The mineral content of bone can be determined by measuring the absorption by bone of a monochromatic, low-energy photon beam which originates in a radioactive source (iodine-125 at 27.3 kev or americium-241 at 59.6 kev). The intensity of the beam transmitted by the bone is measured by counting with a scintillation detector. Since the photon source and detector are well collimated, errors resulting from scattered radiation are reduced. From measurements of the intensity of the transmitted beam, made at intervals across the bone, the total mineral content of the bone can be determined. The results are accurate and reproducible to within about 3 percent.