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Transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) individuals face numerous barriers to healthcare, which contribute to many health disparities. TGNC persons may choose gender-affirming therapies with surgery and/or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to manage gender incongruence. Despite the expanding use of HRT, the long-term outcomes on bone health and metabolism, are still relatively unknown in the TGNC population. In 2019, the International Society of Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) released an official position statement on the appropriate use of dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to measure bone density in the TGNC population. In this study, we reviewed which "sex" is currently utilized among providers when performing DXA scans to calculate T- and Z-scores for TGNC persons and how this compares to the positions published by the ISCD. A retrospective analysis was performed utilizing HERON queries and subsequent chart review. HERON is a type of Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside software that was utilized to find sets of patients of interest from electronic medical record data while preserving patient privacy through a query interface tool. Project specific sets including patient demographics, medications, gonadectomy, and DXA scan information was created in HERON to make this highly detailed data of specific patients available to the investigators on the platform, as reviewed and retrieved by the Institutional Review Board. The qualitative DXA data obtained from chart review was determined as "correct" or "incorrect" based on positions provided from the ISCD. 10 DXA scans that met inclusion criteria were obtained between 9 TGNC patients. In total, 18 T-scores and Z-scores of the 10 DXAs were reviewed and scored. Based on ISCD positions, 67% of the T-score and Z-scores were calculated incorrectly; using the erroneous "sex" based standard to compare scores. Like DXA scans, many current healthcare standards and protocols are based on a patient's sex or gender, which may cause confusion amongst healthcare personnel who have not received proper training regarding the TGNC population. In this study, 67% of T-scores and Z-scores were calculated incorrectly based on ISCD recommendations. An additional prospective research design is required to determine the consequences of incorrectly calculated DXA scans for TGNC patients. Furthermore, future research is needed to determine HRT's effects on bone mineral density in the TGNC population in the United States.Copyright © 2022 The International Society for Clinical Densitometry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Quinnlyn Walcott, Johnathan Dallman, Hanna Crow, Leland Graves, Courtney Marsh. DXA Scan Variants in Transgender Patients. Journal of clinical densitometry : the official journal of the International Society for Clinical Densitometry. 2022 Mar 13

PMID: 35525792

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