Bone densitometry, using an advanced technology called DXA (Dual Energy x-ray Absorbtiometry), safely, accurately and painlessly measures bone mineral density, which helps determine a woman’s risk of developing osteoporosis and future fractures. The Bone Densitometer uses small amounts of x-ray to produce images of the lumbar spine and hip. The forearm may also be imaged, but the standard procedure is to image the lumbar spine and hip. The x-ray is composed of two energy levels which are absorbed differently by the bones in the body. A computer is able to determine from these differences how much bone mineral density is present.
What are the benefits of having a DXA scan?
- It is a simple and proven x-ray method.
- It is safe with low radiation exposure.
- It is fast and comfortable, and takes only 15 minutes.
- It is easy. Patient remains clothed.
- It is painless and non-invasive. No injection is required.
How do I prepare for a DXA scan?
- Unless instructed otherwise, eat normally on the day of the DXA scan; but avoid taking calcium supplements for at least 24 hours prior to your appointment.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Sweat suits and other casual attire without zippers, buttons, grommets or any metal are preferred.
- You should not have had a barium study, radioisotope injection, oral or intravenous contrast material from a CT scan or MRI within seven days prior to your DXA test.