DEXA Bone Densitometry Scan
What is a DEXA bone scan?
This test is most often used to measure the mass, or density, of your bones. It can help evaluate the strength of your bones and help you and your doctor understand your future risk for bone loss and bone fractures. It can also measure body composition (body fat and muscle mass).
What is it used for?
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to lose density, which is why DEXA is recommended for women and at-risk men over the age of 50. If low bone density is detected early, osteoporosis may be treated to help prevent a future bone fracture…
DEXA can also be used to measure your body/mass index or BMI. It can measure how fat is distributed in different parts of the body more accurately than other forms of evaluation. This gives your doctor important information to help you achieve your overall health goals or added insight for achieving your goals.
What should I expect during a DEXA bone densitometry test?
There is no “tube” used for DEXA, nor is there the need for an IV injection. You simply lie on your back on a flat, comfortable x-ray table. A specially trained radiographer will position you on the table and help you hold the desired position. They will then guide the scanner over your body. It is a safe, fast, and painless test.
How to prepare for a DEXA bone densitometry test
A DEXA screening requires no special preparation, and you may wear your clothes during the test.
- Please inform the technologist or a patient representative if you are pregnant
- Unless told otherwise, you may eat, drink and take your normal medication prior to your DEXA scan, however, please stop taking calcium supplements (multivitamins or antacids that contain calcium) 24 hours before your test.
- Please inform the technologist if you have had an MRI or CT scan within one week of your scheduled appointment for a DEXA scan.