Dexa Bone Mineral Densitometry
WHAT IS THE TEST?
Bone mineral density (BMD) estimates the true mass of bone. Each patient's bone density is plotted against the "normal" for a healthy young adult or against age matched control data. A radiologist then interprets the data and creates a concise report on the status of the patient's bone density.
WHO SHOULD GET IT DONE?
BMD analysis is recommended for women between ages 50 and 65 with risk factors for osteoporosis and for all women over the age of 65. In addition, men and women taking certain medications or having certain diseases should discuss testing with their doctor. By measuring BMD, it is possible to predict fracture risk in the same manner that measuring blood pressure can help predict the risk of stroke.
Osteoporosis has many available treatment options once the diagnosis is made.
HOW IS IT DONE?
DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) is the most widely available method of bone densitometry. DEXA is quick, painless and the preferred method to measure BMD.
IS IT PAINFUL? WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE?
Bone mineral density measurement with DEXA is painless, and requires no injections, invasive procedures, sedation, special diet or any other advance preparation. During a DEXA exam, the patient lies fully clothed (you will have to wear a cotton gown before the procedure) on a padded table while the system scans one or more regions (usually the lower spine, hip and forearm). The entire exam typically takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete. While DEXA uses x-rays, the radiation dose is less than during a chest x-ray.