What is bone densitometry?
Bone Densitometry or DEXA (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) is an enhanced form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone loss. It is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis usually occurring in women after menopause but can also be found in men. A DEXA scan uses very low levels of radiation, less than one-tenth of the dose of a chest x-ray, to scan the spine and hips and produce an image. The image is analyzed by a computer and compared against national standards to determine if osteoporosis is present.
What should I expect?
You will be asked to lie down face up on the scan table. The scanner arm will pass over your body and image your low back and both hips. The procedure usually takes 20 minutes.
How do i prepare for this exam?
Find a bone density scan imaging center near you. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing with out any metal objects. You may be asked to change into a gown if the technologist feels necessary. Avoid calcium supplements for 24 hours prior to your exam. If you have recently had some form of contrasted x-ray study be sure to inform the scheduler so she can delay scheduling your exam until the contrast has been eliminated from your body.
When will I receive my results?
Your exam will be interpreted by a board-certified radiologist with expertise in bone density scanning. Your physician will then receive a report within 2-5 working days.
For detailed information about Osteoporosis you can contact:
National Osteoporosis Foundation
1150 Seventeenth Street NW
Washington D.C. 20036
Fax Number (202) 223-2237