Bone Densitometry

Bone Densitometry, DEXA or DAX

Bone densitometry, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, DEXA or DXA, uses a very small dose of radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body (usually the lower (or lumbar) spine and hips) to measure bone loss. It is commonly used to diagnose osteopenia and osteoporosis, to assess an individual’s risk for developing osteoporotic fractures. DEXA is simple, quick, and noninvasive. It’s also the most commonly used and the most standard method for diagnosing osteoporosis.

DXA bone densitometry is a simple, quick, and noninvasive procedure. No anesthesia is required.

The amount of radiation used is extremely small—less than one-tenth the dose of a standard chest x-ray, and less than a day’s exposure to natural radiation.

DXA bone density testing is currently the best-standardized method available to diagnose osteoporosis and is also considered an accurate estimator of fracture risk. DXA is used to make a decision whether treatment is required and it can be used to monitor the effects of the treatment.

Bone Density testing is strongly recommended if you:

Are a post-menopausal woman and not taking estrogen.

Have a personal or maternal history of hip fracture or smoking.

Are a post-menopausal woman who is tall (over 5 feet 7 inches) or thin (less than 125 pounds).

Are a man with clinical conditions associated with bone loss, such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney or liver disease.

Have experienced a fracture after only mild trauma.

Additional Tips:
  • On the day of the exam you may eat normally. You should not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your exam.

  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing, avoiding garments that have zippers, belts or buttons made of metal. Objects such as keys or wallets that would be in the area being scanned should be removed.

  • Please leave your valuables at home, including jewelry, to prevent it from being lost or stolen, for they have to be removed prior to entering the scan room.

  • Please let us know if you need interpreting services, this can be arranged for you.
  • Please bring a list of your current medications.
  • If you have claustrophobia, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication for you to take with you for your MRI appointment.

Use medications that are known to cause bone loss, including corticosteroids such as Prednisone, various anti-seizure medications such as Dilantin and certain barbiturates, or high-dose thyroid replacement drugs.

Have type 1 (formerly called juvenile or insulin-dependent) diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease or a family history of osteoporosis.

Have high bone turnover, which shows up in the form of excessive collagen in urine samples.

Have a thyroid condition, such as hyperthyroidism.

Have a parathyroid condition, such as hyperparathyroidism.

Have had x-ray evidence of vertebral fracture or other signs of osteoporosis.

Contact us to schedule your exam!

This facility is wonderful! Great location, a range of available testing times, and many services offered. They are accommodating and convenient!

– Kate Blanchard

I had a wonderful experience when I brought my mother in for an MRI and a mammogram. The staff were caring, nice and very helpful. They work with people that have various language abilities. I recommend based on my experience for people to visit this center.

Aida Khalifa

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