Dexa Bone Density Scan
What is a Bone Density Scan?
Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA, previously DEXA) is a means of measuring bone mineral density (BMD). Two X-ray beams with differing energy levels are aimed at the patient's bones. When soft tissue absorption is subtracted out, the BMD can be determined from the absorption of each beam by bone. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry is the most widely used and most thoroughly studied bone density measurement technology.
Typically, the DXA scan is performed on the lower spine and hips to diagnose and follow osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that often affects women after menopause but may also be found in men. It involves a gradual loss of calcium, along with structural changes, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile, and more likely to break.
The Bone Density Scan (DXA) is not to be confused with the nuclear bone scan, which is sensitive to certain metabolic diseases of bones in which bones are attempting to heal from infections, fractures, or tumors.
Who should get a Bone Density Scan?
Individuals who are at risk for osteoporosis should consider getting the scan. The risk of fracture is affected by age, body weight, history of prior fracture, family history of osteoporotic fractures and life style issues such as cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. These factors are taken into consideration when deciding if a patient needs therapy.
Bone density testing is strongly recommended if you:
How do I prepare for exam?
On the day of the exam you may eat normally. You should not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your exam.
You should wear loose, comfortable clothing, avoiding garments that have zippers, belts or buttons made of metal. Objects such as keys or wallets that would be in the area being scanned should be removed.
You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, dentures, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.
Inform your physician if you recently had a barium examination or have been injected with a contrast material for a computed tomography (CT) scan or radioisotope scan. You may have to wait 10 to 14 days before undergoing a DXA test.
Women should always inform their physician and x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation. If an x-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby.
What can I expect during this procedure?
It is a quick and painless procedure. The procedure will last 10-30 minutes in length.
How Will I Learn About The Results Of Bone Density Scan?
At UDI, a board-certified radiologist, Dr. George Stanley and his associates will interpret your scan promptly. He will interpret the findings and a report will be sent to your physician who requested the MRI. Your physician will then share the results of the study with you.
To schedule your MRI appointment or have any questions, please call us at 407-975-3315