DEXA Bone Densitometry
Bone densitometry (DEXA, DXA) is a simple, quick, non-invasive scan that helps identify a decrease in bone density and loss of bone strength.
It uses an extremely low dose of x-ray radiation to produce images of the lower spine and hips unlike a typical x-ray.
This measurement of your bone mineral density (BMD) can identify osteoporosis, osteopenia, determine your risk for bone fractures, and your response to osteoporosis treatment.
Candidates for Bone Density Exams
- Women age 65 and older, men age 70 and older
- Postmenopausal women under the age of 65 with one or more the following risk factors:
- Family history of osteoporosis (mother or sister)
- History of cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption
- History of diabetes, hyperparathyroidism, or hyperthyroidism
- Premature menopause or late onset of menstrual periods
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Long term use of medications known to cause bone loss (i.e., prednisone,
- seizure medications, diuretics and Depo-Provera contraceptive injections).
- Rheumatoid arthritis, Kidney, and thyroid conditions
- Have had a broken bone after a minor fall or injury.
Diagnose Osteoporosis Early
Unlike plain film x-rays, DEXA can measure very small reductions in bone density. This makes it possible to diagnose osteoporosis in its early stage, before you break a bone.
Most severe osteoporosis is identified too late after spinal curvature (Kyphosis) or a non traumatic vertebral fracture.
Doctors use the results of bone density exams to help them decide whether treatment for low bone density is needed and then responses to osteoporosis treatment.