(Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) is an x-ray procedure which
is used to measure bone mineral density. A DEXA scan is a simple
and non-invasive procedure. Measurements of the lower spine, hips
and sometimes the wrist are taken. The procedure is painless and
radiation exposure is minimal.
DEXA scans are recommended if you:
is little or no preparation for a DEXA Scan. Eat as you normally
do, however do not take any calcium supplements 24 hours prior
to the exam. Dress comfortably and try to avoid garments with metal
(zippers, belts, or buttons).
You may have to wait 10-14 days before undergoing a DEXA test if you have had
another diagnostic study which required the use of a contrast agent such as
barium enema, an upper/lower GI series esophagram; or have been injected with
a contrast material for a computed tomography (CT) scan or radioisotope scan
for a bone or PET/CT scan.
As with all radiological procedures patients should inform the technologist
if there is any chance of pregnancy.
How is a DEXA scan performed?
You will be asked to lie on the examination table for a short
time while the arm of the machine passes over your body taking
measurements. It is important that you stay as still as possible
during the procedure to ensure a clear, useful image. A radiologist
interprets the results of the DEXA Scan and provides a report
to your primary care physician or gynecologist. DEXA reports
are reported with your test results will be in the form of two
scores a “T” score and a “Z” score: