DEXA

Bone Density Study

With a bone mineral density study, also known as DEXA, the radiologists at Radiology & Imaging are able to identify early osteoporosis and monitor treatment. Osteoporosis is a chronic condition that occurs when there is a depletion of bone calcium and protein. It is characterized by low bone mass, increased bone fragility and increased risk of bone fracture. Osteoporosis may progress silently for decades, with no symptoms, until a fracture occurs. The good news is that early prevention and detection methods are now available, as well as new treatment. It is now possible to detect osteoporosis before a fracture and to build up bone mass even after it has been lost.

Who should have a DEXA exam?

  • Women over 50 years old
  • Postmenopausal women who have at least 1 additional risk factor (see list, right) or who have had a fracture
  • Anyone considering osteoporosis therapy
  • Women on prolonged hormone replacement therapy

Osteoporosis Risk Factors

  • Female
  • Caucasian
  • Advanced age
  • History of bone fracture
  • Low calcium diet
  • Small thin frame
  • Family history
  • Ovaries removed
  • Lung Screening
  • Early menopause
  • Lack of exercise
  • Eating disorders
  • Use steroids or anti-convulsant medication
  • Use Alcohol and tobacco

What are the benefits of a DEXA scan?

Bone densitometry is a non-invasive, accurate and inexpensive way of detecting osteoporosis. The procedure takes approximately 15-30 minutes.

A bone densitometry scan:

  • Can be beneficial for any age or gender
  • Provides early detection that other tests miss
  • Can measure multiple sites of the body to determine the most appropriate treatments
  • Can estimate fracture risk
  • Is easily administered with a low radiation dose

Preparation for a DEXA scan

  • Do not take any calcium supplement for 24 hours prior to the scan
  • No IV contrast, barium studies or nuclear medicine studies for three weeks prior to the scan

To schedule a DEXA scan or to get additional information about the procedure, please contact us.