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Bone mineral density scanning, also referred to as dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, or DXA, is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis. This condition of reduced bone density affects nearly one-half of all post-menopausal women, the largest group at high risk for this health issue. This procedure is most often used for patients who meet these criteria:
  • A post-menopausal woman who is not taking estrogen replacement
  • A post-menopausal woman who is very tall, very thin, or both
  • Any patient with a personal or maternal history of hip fracture or bone weakness, or other clinical conditions associated with bone loss
  • On medications associated with bone loss, such as corticosteroids, some anti-seizure medications, and some barbiturates
  • Have type 1 diabetes, liver disease or kidney disease
  • Have excessive collagen in urine samples, which can indicate high bone turnover
  • Conditions of the thyroid and parathyroid
  • Have evidence of fracture or other signs of osteoporosis
Don't take calcium supplements for 24 hours prior to your test. Other than that, you can follow your normal routine unless your doctor gives you special instructions. The procedure is quick, painless, and requires no medication or injections.

The technologist will position you on a padded table to allow for the proper imaging of the areas to be tested, which are usually the hips and lower spine. You'll be asked to lie very still and hold your breath briefly as the images are taken to ensure maximum clarity. You will be repositioned as needed for multiple images. The procedure is usually completed in about 20 minutes.

We use the Lunar bone densitometer to measure the density of the spine, hip and other bones which are the most frequent sites of fractures. Getting an accurate reading of densities in these critical areas is the key to understanding the condition of your bones and assessing future risk.

The results of this text will include two scores:

T score - This number is a comparison of your bone mass with that of a young adult of your gender at peak bone mass. A score above -1 is considered normal. A score between -1 and -2.5 is considered low bone mass. A score below -2.5 indicates osteoporosis.

Z score - This number compares your bone mass to others of your age, size and gender.

All our technologists and the physicians who work with reading bone density data are accredited by the International Society for Clinical Densitometry. With our technology and our high level of expertise, we can accurately assess bone conditions and recommend the optimum treatment for the needs of each patient.

 

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