Bone Density (Dexascan) – Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry, commonly known as a Dexascan is a method of Bone Mineral Density Assessment that is used to:
- Detect the presence of osteoporosis in men and women with particular risk factors; particularly in women making decisions about hormone replacement therapy at menopause.
- Predict future fracture risk.
- Monitor bone density in those at risk for osteoporosis/or those with osteoporosis undergoing treatment.
Common Uses of this Procedure:
Dexascan is used to diagnose osteoporosis in men and women with the following particular risk factors:
- Advanced age
- History of bone fracture
- A small thin frame
- A family history of osteoporosis
- Removal of the ovaries
- Early menopause
- A low calcium diet
- Lack of exercise
- Eating disorders
- Certain medicines (such as steroids or anticonvulsants)
- Alcohol and tobacco
How Does It Work?
Certified medical personnel will conduct the exam. You will be asked to lie down without moving on the scan table but you will be able to breathe normally throughout the procedure. A scanner will pass over one area of your skeleton: your lower spine, wrist or hip. A dual energy beam of very low dose x-rays passes through that area of your body and is measured by a detector. You will not feel anything during the exam. The scan is repeated for a second skeletal area. DexaScan technology works by measuring the amount of x-rays that are absorbed by the bones in your body. The two x-ray energies allow the machine to differentiate between bone and soft tissue, giving a very accurate estimation of bone density. Our medical expert will produce a report for your physician based on the bone density measurements and your medical history
This exam is painless and does require you to lie on your back for 10 to 15 minutes.. Even though x-rays are used, the amount absorbed by the patient is only about 1/10th of that received from a chest x-ray. Other x-ray procedures have even higher x-ray doses. The x-ray dose from the bone densitometry test is comparable to the naturally occurring radiation you are exposed to in one week. Caution: Even though the x-ray dose for the bone densitometry test is very low, please inform the operator if you are pregnant or might be pregnant before your test.
Virtually no preparation is needed, except to avoid calcium supplements for 48 hours prior to appointment. Wear comfortable clothing preferably without out buttons or zippers.