DEXA Scan (Bone Mineral Density Exam)
DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) examinations estimate the amount of bone mineral content in specific areas of your body. Two X-Ray energies allow the Radiologist to tell the difference between bone and soft tissue, giving a very accurate estimation of bone density.
Often confused with a nuclear medicine bone scan, a bone mineral density measurement with DEXA is painless, and requires no injections, invasive procedures, sedation, special diet or any other advance preparation. During a DEXA exam, the patient lies fully clothed on a padded table while the system scans one or more areas of bone (usually the lower spine or hip).
While DEXA uses x-rays, the radiation dose is less than during a chest x-ray. Each patient's bone density is plotted against the "normal" for a healthy young adult or against age matched control data.
You will be asked to lie very still on the scan table, while breathing normally as the scanner arm passes over the area of interest. An exam usually consists of a spine and a single hip scan. It takes about 20 minutes to perform the exam.
Unless otherwise instructed, eat normally on the day of the exam and avoid calcium supplements for two hours before your appointment. *Try to avoid wearing metal.
After your study is complete, our board certified radiologist will evaluate the image results and send a full report to your doctor, who will discuss the results with you.