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Bone Densitometry

  • Bone densitometry is a test like an X-ray run by the specialists that is used to measure the bone density. It is sometimes called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, DEXA or DXA.
  • Bone density, or bone mineral density, is the amount of bone mineral in bone tissue.
  • It is commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis, to assess an individual's risk for developing osteoporotic fractures.

Procedure:

  • DXA is simple, quick and noninvasive.
  • This exam requires little to no special preparation.
  • It uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body (usually the lower (or lumbar) spine and hips) to measure bone loss. 

Advantages:

  • Simple, quick and non-invasive procedure. 
  • No anesthesia is required.
  • The amount of radiation used is extremely small—less than one-tenth the dose of a standard chest x-ray, and less than a day's exposure to natural radiation. 

Side effect and precautions:

  • There is always a slight chance of cancer from excessive exposure to radiation. However, the benefit of an accurate diagnosis far outweighs the risk. 
  • Women should always inform their physician or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. 


 



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