Bone Densitometry (Osteoporosis)
Bone density scanning, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) or bone densitometry, is an enhanced form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone loss or the presence of osteoporosis. DEXA is today's established standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD). DEXA is most often performed on the lower spine and hips. In children and some adults, the whole body is sometimes scanned.
Who should get a DEXA Bone Density Scan for Osteoporosis?
DEXA Bone Density Scans are recommended if you have risk factors including:
• Women over age 65 and men over age 70
• Women under age 65 and men ages 50 - 70 who have risk factors such as:
• A fracture in any man or woman over age 50
• Chronic rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, eating disorders
• Early menopause (either from natural causes or surgery)
• History of hormone treatment for prostate cancer or breast cancer
• Significant loss of height (Compression fractures of the back)
• Strong family history of osteoporosis
• Taking corticosteroid medications (prednisone, methylprednisolone) every day for more than 3 months
• Three or more drinks of alcohol per day on most days
How do I prepare for my DEXA Bone Density Scan?
- Please do not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your exam.
- 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 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 a week before undergoing a DEXA test.
- Women should always inform their 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.
Exam time for Bone DEXA Scan: approximately 30 minutes
To schedule a DEXA Bone Density Scan, call Scheduling Services at 719-776-8010.