What is DEXA Scan?

DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) examinations estimate the amount of bone mineral content in specific areas of your body.

Two X-Ray energies allows 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). The entire exam typically takes just a few minutes to complete.

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. 




What should I expect?

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 take about 20 minutes to perform the exam.

Pictured to the left. Lying comfortably, a patient is about to undergo a DEXA Scan or bone density measurement exam.

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