Medical Library

Medical Library

Bone Density Scan (DEXA)

What Is A Bone Density Scan (DEXA)?
Bone density scanning, also called DXA or DEXA or bone densitometry, is an enhanced form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone loss. DEXA is today's established standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD). DEXA is most often performed on the lower spine and hips. 

Common Uses Of DEXA:
DEXA bone scan is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause but may also be found in men. DEXA is also effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss. The DEXA test can also assess an individual’s risk for developing fractures. 

Patient Preparation:
  • On the day of the exam you may eat normally. You should not take calcium supplements for at least 24 – 48 hours before your exam.
  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing, avoiding garments that have zippers, belts or buttons made of metal.
  • You should bring a complete list of your current medications to your DEXA scan appointment.
  • 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, 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 DEXA test. Women should always inform their physician or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. 

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