DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry)
What is a DEXA test?
It has been estimated that 12 million Americans over the age of 50 have osteoporosis. Bone Densitometry is a radiological procedure done to detect osteoporosis or low bone mass. It is the gold standard for diagnosing osteoporosis or low bone density. The bone densitometry or DEXA scan allows for a diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia in patients prior to a fracture. It can also calculate a 10 year future risk of fracture. It is used to follow the progress of patients that are taking treatments for osteoporosis or low bone mass. Fractures can be prevented with proper treatment for osteoporosis. Your test results are compared against a score of healthy peak-bone density (T-score) and the ideal bone density of someone your size and age (Z-score). The lower the results from the testing, the greater chance you are at risk for future harm to your bones. It is not unnatural to experience bone density deficiencies with age, but early diagnosis can start the process of improving your bone health.
Who needs a DXA scan?
Guidelines recommend that testing of bone mineral density be performed based on the patient’s risk factors. Bone mineral density testing may be recommended for women who are postmenopausal, premenopausal and who have at least one risk factor for osteoporosis and all women who are postmenopausal with fractures to confirm the diagnosis of osteoporosis and determine the severity of disease. It is also recommended in med over the age of 70.
What areas of the body are scanned and how long does it take for a DEXA test to be done?
This a non-invasive, painless testing procedure looks at the lower spine, hip and possibly the wrist. It generally is completed in 15 minutes. Nothing is injected and radiation exposure is truly negligible and the technician sits by your side for the entire test
How should you be dressed for a DEXA scan?
You should be comfortably dressed, with clothing that does not have metallic objects. We do not ask that any clothing be removed, but you will be asked to remove any metal objects and jewelry that is around your waist.
For more information on our in office DEXA scans feel free to contact our office directly at 516-295-4481