Test and Procedures
    Our Services  /  Tests and Procedures  /  Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scan/bone

    Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scan/bone Density Testing

    DEXA scan is a method of Bone Mineral Density Assessment. 

    What is a DEXA scan?

    Bone Mineral Density Assessment is used to:

    • Detect the presence of osteoporosis in men and women with particular risk factors
    • Screen for osteoporosis, particularly in women making decisions about hormone replacement therapy at menopause
    • Predict future fracture risk
    • Monitor bone density in those with low normal levels and in those with osteoporosis undergoing treatment

    Common uses of this procedure

    DEXA scan is used to diagnose osteoporosis in men and women with the following particular risk factors.
    • Female
    • Caucasian
    • Advanced age
    • History of bone fracture
    • A small thin frame
    • A family history of osteoporosis
    • Removal of the ovaries
    • Early menopause
    • A low calcium diet
    • Lack of exercise
    • Eating disorders
    • Certain medicines (such as steroids or anticonvulsants)
    • Alcohol and tobacco

    How does it work?

    A certified medical personnel conducts the exam. The patient lies down without moving on the scan table but can breathe normally throughout the procedure. A scanner passes over one area of your skeleton: your lower spine, wrist or hip. A dual energy beam of low-dose x-rays passes through that area of your body and is measured by a detector. The scan is repeated for a second skeletal area. DEXA technology works by measuring the amount of x-rays that are absorbed by the bones in your body. The two x-ray energies allow the machine to differentiate between bone and soft tissue, giving a very accurate estimation of bone density. The radiologist produces a report for the physician based on the bone density measurements and your medical history.

    Patient comfort

    The patient does not feel any discomfort during the procedure.

    Caution

    Even though the x-ray dose for the bone densitometry test is very low, inform the operator if you are pregnant or might be pregnant before your test.

    Preparation required

    Eat normally on the day of the exam, but avoid calcium supplements the day of your appointment. If possible, wear a two piece outfit so you will not need to disrobe entirely and avoid wearing clothing with metal (buttons, zippers, etc.)