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.
Bone density testing is strongly recommended if you:
- are a post-menopausal woman and not taking estrogen.
- have a personal or maternal history of hip fracture or smoking.
- are a post-menopausal woman who is tall (over 5 feet 7 inches) or thin (less than 125 pounds).
- are a man with clinical conditions associated with bone loss, such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney or liver disease.
- use medications that are known to cause bone loss, including corticosteroids such as Prednisone, various anti-seizure medications such as Dilantin and certain barbiturates, or high-dose thyroid replacement drugs.
- have type 1 (formerly called juvenile or insulin-dependent) diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease or a family history of osteoporosis.
- have high bone turnover, which shows up in the form of excessive collagen in urine samples.
- have a thyroid condition, such as hyperthyroidism.
- have a parathyroid condition, such as hyperparathyroidism.
- have experienced a fracture after only mild trauma.
- have had x-ray evidence of vertebral fracture or other signs of osteoporosis.
- 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.