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.
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.
The doctor may recommend a DEXA scan in case:
Following factors may increase your risk of osteoporosis:
• 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.
It takes just a few minutes for the whole process to get completed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.