What is it?
Bone density scan, also called bone mineral scan, DXA, DEXA or bone densitometry, is a form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone loss, most commonly in the hip, lumbar spine and less often the forearm. It is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis which involves a gradual loss of calcium, causing bones to become thinner and more prone to break. A DEXA test can also be used to assess an individual's risk for developing fractures.
What to tell us?
If you recently had a barium examination or have been injected with a contrast material including a nuclear medicine examination. You may have to wait 10 to 14 days before undergoing a DEXA test.
If you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant.
What does the procedure involve?
You will be asked to lie on your back on an examination table. Support will be given to the body part being scanned, usually the lower back, left hip or lower arm. A movable arm passes over your body, where x-rays that pass through your body will be recorded and allow the scanner to determine the density of your bones. A technician will remain with you and you will feel no sensations from the exam.
After your procedure you will be able to resume all normal activities.
How long will it take?
The DEXA procedure normally takes 10 to 30 minutes.