Tissue's two major components: lipid and protein, are of a primary importance, related as they are to the normal life states. Assay of protein and lipid (fat and lean) in vivo is of certain criticality in human disease states, such as wasting, edema, obesity and other dyscrasias involving body mass and fat-lean balance. Since the elemental composition of lipid and protein molecules differ in a significant and regular fashion, their mass absorption coefficients differ when radiation in the x-ray and lower energy gamma ray region is used. Two monochromatic photons, one in the 20 to 30 keV region, another in the 60 to 100 keV region, can be shown to exhibit an absorption ratio in a two component system of fat and lean which provides for a determination of the component mass ratios. Photons from x-ray machines and isotopic x- and gamma ray sources have been proposed for this. The radionuclide offers qualities of stability, small size and weight, portability, zero power consumption and, generally, a certain economy. The electron capture decay of 109Cd provides a gamma ray at 88 kilovolts and a daughter (Ag) Kα doublet at 22 keV. This fortuitous energy combination is advantageous in this differential absorptiometry. The 109Cd source provides for a stable geometry and calls for the simultaneous measurement of both photons by non-dispersive x-ray spectroscopic techniques. Ten mCi of 109Cd was incorporated into a sealed source, filtered for the silver Kβ1 x-ray (at 24. 942 keV) with 0. 1 mm palladium and collimated with a grazing aperture arrangement. Fat-lean tissue simulating standard samples three cm to ten cm in length and of various component ratios were studied. Component weight percent was determined using a function of the transmitted radiation. Determinations on water (the lean simulator) and polyethylene (the fat Simulator) as well as other materials produced absorption ratios concurring favorably with the known make-up of the Simulators.
In vitro dual beam analysis of muscle tissue samples showed a high degree of correlation with the results of ether lipid extractions. Using lipid extraction values as the standard, the x-ray absorptiometric technique produced percentage lipid levels averaging within 0. 5% of the extractions.
In vivo measurements of fat content of the triceps muscle area were compared with skinfold thickness measurements of the same area. Coefficient of correlation was 0. 88.