Bone Densitometry (DEXA)

Bone densitometry is a simple and quick scan used to determine a patient’s bone density. Specifically, it measures bone minerals (calcium) and bone density to determine if the patient has osteoporosis – a condition in which bones have lost minerals, especially calcium – and to monitor patient reactions to osteoporosis treatment.

Who should have a bone densitometry scan?

  • All women age 65+
  • Women who are postmenopausal, under age 65, with one or more additional osteoporosis risk factors (see below)
  • Women who are postmenopausal who have suffered fractures
  • Women who either are or have been on hormone replacement or estrogen replacement therapy for prolonged periods
  • Women considering therapy for osteoporosis who want a scan to facilitate the decision

Example Scan Image

Common risk factors for developing osteoporosis include:

  • Advanced age
  • History of a fracture, after age 50, or stooped posture
  • Estrogen deficiency
  • A diet low in calcium
  • An inactive life style with little or no exercise
  • Smoking
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Low body weight and body mass index
  • Thyroid disease
  • Use of certain medication (steroids, anticonvulsants, excessive thyroid hormone, certain cancer treatments, heparin therapy)
  • Low testosterone levels in men
  • Take No VITAMINS or CALCIUM supplements on the day of your exam.
  • It is best to wear metal-free clothing and avoid metal fasteners such as zippers or buttons, as well as bras with metal underwires.
  • Inform your technologist if there is any possibility that you are pregnant.

For your convenience, please print and fill out the forms below and bring them with you to your appointment. Or you may complete them when you arrive.