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Bone Density Scan

A bone density test helps you estimate the density of your bones and your chances of breaking it. If you have osteoporosis, the bone density tests determine how much your bones have become fragile and are more likely to break. At Yashoda hospital, our central dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) machine diagnoses a lot of conditions associated with bone density.

The test can evaluate an individual’s risk of developing fractures and tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and others, enhancing the accuracy of calculating your risk of breaking bones.

Our expert's radiologists utilize bone density tests to measure the amount of calcium and other bone minerals contained into your segment of bone. Depending on your age, our radiologists may even recommend Lateral Vertebral Assessment (LVA), a low-dose x-ray examination of the spine to examine for vertebral fractures, which is performed on the DEXA machine.

What is Bone Densitometry (DEXA, DXA)?

DXA is a quick, simple, and non-invasive procedure that is commonly used for diagnosing osteoporosis. Bone densitometry is also referred to as DEXA or DXA, that utilizes a small dose of ionizing radiation. It helps in generating pictures of the inside of the body, such as the spine, hips, and the lower spine, to measure bone loss. To assess an individual's risk for developing osteoporotic fractures, the machine is commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis.

What are some common uses of the Bone Density Scan procedure?

Osteoporosis is a condition that often affects women after menopause but can also be found in men and rarely in children. In osteoporosis, there is a gradual loss of bone, as well as structural changes, resulting in thinning of bones and more likely to break. DXA is very effective in diagnosing osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss. Several factors are taken into consideration when deciding if a patient needs therapy.

You should have bone density testing if you:

  • are a post-menopausal woman and not consuming estrogen.
  • have a maternal or personal history of hip fracture or smoking.
  • are a man with medical conditions linked with bone loss, such as rheumatoid arthritis, liver disease, chronic kidney.
  • use medications that cause bone loss.
  • have type 1 diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, or a family history of osteoporosis.
  • have a high bone turnover
  • have a thyroid condition, like, hyperthyroidism.
  • have a parathyroid condition, for instance, hyperparathyroidism.
  • have experienced a fracture after a minor trauma
  • have other signs of osteoporosis.

How to Prepare for the Procedure?

Before the Procedure

  • Before your exam, you should not take calcium supplements.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing, avoiding garments containing metals.
  • You will have to wear a hospital gown and be asked to remove any jewelry, eye-glasses, dental appliances, and metal objects.
  • If you are pregnant, inform your technologists beforehand.

During the Procedure

  • In the central DXA examination, the patient is positioned on a padded table to measure the bone density of the hip and spine.
  • An imaging device, or detector, is positioned above the patient, and an X-ray generator is located below the patient.
  • You will have to lie very still while the X-ray picture is being taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image.
  • If you have to undergo Vertebral Fracture Assessment (VFA), which is a low-dose x-ray examination of the spine, then some more time is required.
  • The expert physician or technologists may complete the DXA bone density test, usually within 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the parts of the body being examined on the equipment being used.
  • Bone density tests are generally a quick and painless procedure.

After the Procedure

Our trained technologists will supervise and interpret medical examinations. The signed report will be shared with you and can be sent to your doctor, who will discuss the results with you. A clinician should evaluate your DXA scan while reviewing the presence of clinical risk factors such as:

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • chronic renal and liver disease
  • respiratory disease
  • inflammatory bowel disease

Your test results will be in the type of two scores:

T score — This number demonstrates the amount of bone you have compared with a young adult of the similar gender with peak bone mass. From the T score, the doctor will estimate your risk of developing a fracture and also determine if you need additional treatment.

  • A score of -1 and above is regarded as normal.
  • A score between -1.1 and -2.4 is regarded as osteopenia (low bone mass).
  • A score of -2.5 and below is defined as osteoporosis.

Z score — This number exhibits the amount of bone you have compared with other people in your age group and of the similar gender and the same size. You may need further medical tests if the score is unusually high or low.

Are there any risks from the procedure?

  • Women should x-ray technologists about their pregnancy to avoid radiation to their unborn child.
  • Usually, there are no complications expected with the DXA procedure.
  • Some limitations of tests are present due to the differences in testing methods.


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