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Dexa Scan Bone Density Test at Yashoda Hospital

A DEXA scan test is a type of X- ray that measures the bone mineral density and bone loss. In case  you have a lower bone density than normal (for your age), there is a risk for osteoporosis and  bone fractures.

The technique of DEXA was introduced for commercial purposes in 1987. DEXA stands for dual  energy X- ray absorptiometry. DEXA transmits two X- ray beams at dissimilar peak energy  frequencies to the target bones. The soft tissue absorbs one peak while the other peak is  absorbed by the bone. Bone mineral density is the remainder obtained when the amount of soft  tissue absorption is deducted from the total amount of absorption.

DEXA scan is fast, non-invasive and more accurate as compared to a regular X-ray. An  extremely low level of radiation is involved in it.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises DEXA as the best technique for evaluating  bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. DEXA is also known by the names- DXA or  bone densitometry.

Doctors at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad, are highly skilled  and well-experienced. They are committed to provide you with essential information about  various diseases. This article will help you in knowing more about DEXA scan, its cost and  procedure.

Why is DEXA scan Test used by doctors?

A DEXA scan Test is used to examine and estimate the risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture.  Doctors also use it to check if your osteoporosis treatment is working. Generally, the scan  targets the lower spine and hips.

Before the development of DEXA scan, standard X-ray diagnostics were only capable of  noticing bone loss that was more than 40%. DEXA may measure 2-4% accuracy.  The first sign of bone density loss may be when an older adult breaks a bone.

DEXA scan is also used to measure the composition of the body, lean muscle and fat tissue. It is more accurate than the traditional body mass index (BMI) in examining excess fat. To  evaluate weight loss or muscle strengthening, a total body picture may be used.

When will the doctor recommend DEXA Scan Test?

The doctor may recommend a DEXA scan in case:

  • You are a woman aged above 65 or a man above 70, which is the recommendation of  the various medical groups
  • You have symptoms of osteoporosis
  • You break a bone after 50 years of age
  • You are a man aged 50-59 or a postmenopausal woman under 65 with risk factors
  • Your X-rays show the possibility of osteoporosis, osteopenia or fractures
  • You are taking a steroid drug, such as prednisone
  • You have primary hyperparathyroidism
  • The doctor wants to check if your osteoporosis drug is working

What are the risk factors of Osteoporosis?

Following factors may increase your risk of osteoporosis:

  • Use of tobacco & alcohol
  • Use of corticosteroids & some other drugs
  • Low body mass index
  • Certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Physical inactivity
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Previous fractures
  • Height loss of more than an inch

What are the preparations required for a DEXA scan Test?

• DEXA scan generally does not require any special preparations except that the doctor may recommend you not to take any calcium supplements for 24 hours prior to the test.  • You should wear comfortable clothes. The doctor or lab technician may ask you to take  off any clothes with metal fasteners, zippers or hooks depending on the body area that  has to be scanned.

• The doctor may schedule a DEXA scan after a few days in case you have had a CT  scan requiring use of a contrast material or a barium exam. You must inform the doctor  in advance about it.

• You must inform the doctor if you are pregnant. The doctor may then schedule the  DEXA scan after you have delivered the baby or may take special precautions while  performing the scan.

What are the diagnostic procedures for DEXA scan Test?

  • The apparatus of DEXA consists of a flat-padded table on which you lie, a movable arm  above that holds the X-ray detector and a device below the table that produces X-rays.
  • The doctor or technician will ask you to lie on the table and help you in positioning. A  wedge may be placed under the knees to help flatten your spine for a better image or for  better positioning of the hip. Your arms may also be positioned for scanning.
  • You will be asked to hold yourself very still while the imaging arm above will slowly move  across the body. The technician or the doctor may remain in the room when the device  is being operated as the X- ray radiation level is low.

It takes just a few minutes for the whole process to get completed.

What do the results indicate?

The radiologist will read your DEXA results and then accordingly you may be advised to follow  further instructions.

According to the standards established by the WHO, your bone loss will be measured against  that of a healthy young adult by the scoring system of the scan. This is known as your T-Score,  which is the standard deviation between the average and the measured bone loss.

  • A score equal to or above -1 is considered normal
  • A score between -1.1 and -2.4 is taken as osteopenia with increased risk of fracture
  • A score equal to or below -2.5 is amounts to osteoporosis implying a high risk of fracture The result may also illustrate a Z-score, which compares your bone loss to that of persons in  your age group. It is important to understand that the T-score is not a prediction that you will  have a fracture but is a measure of relative risk.

The doctor will analyze the test results and then take further needed actions. S/he will discuss if  the treatment is required and what are the options of treatment. The doctor may also go for a  second DEXA scan within two years to determine any changes.

What's the outlook?

In case your results show osteopenia or osteoporosis, the doctor will discuss and advise you the  possible remedies you may follow to slow down the rate of bone loss and stay healthy.

The doctor may also recommend some lifestyle changes. You may be advised to begin weight bearing exercises, balance exercises, strengthening exercises or you may also be asked to join  a weight loss program. In case you have low levels of vitamin D or calcium, you may be asked  to start taking supplements. The doctor may even advise you to take any one of the drugs that  are used to strengthen bones and lessen bone loss. You may consult your doctor about the  various side effects of the drug treatment.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), about 50% of women and 25% of  men over the age of 50 may break a bone because of osteoporosis. A change in lifestyle or  starting a medication may help you in slowing down the rate of bone loss and is a good  investment in your health.

It is also helpful to be informed and updated about new studies and possible new treatments.  You may consult our specialists or doctors at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru  Nagar, Ghaziabad who are always ready to guide and support you throughout the treatment.

What is the cost of a DEXA scan Test?

The cost of a DEXA scan differs based on the place where you live, the type of hospital you are  in or the type of facility conducting the test.

If the doctor has recommended DEXA scan as a medical necessity, insurance companies may  help you in covering all or part of the cost. It is better to consult the doctor or the healthcare  provider about the estimated cost.

Need to consult specialists or doctors for DEXA scan in Delhi NCR?

The Department of Radiology at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar,  Ghaziabad, offers you with world-class services and support. We have a dedicated team of  doctors who are always ready to provide you with the best care and support throughout the  treatment. With advanced machines and technologically updated methods, you get all the  facilities you may need during the treatment.

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