A bone densitometry test or a DEXA scan measures a person’s bone mineral density and content. It also measures fat and lean muscle in the body. This scan is commonly known to diagnose any bone-related illness such as osteoporosis and osteopenia, or to assess the risk a person has of getting them.
At ZP Rad in New York, NY, we offer DEXA scans and other screening services like x-rays and breast biopsies. Read on to learn more about bone densitometry tests, and contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Who Should Get This Test?
There are a few factors to consider before getting a DEXA scan, and there are some people who need to get this test done more than others. We strongly recommend a DEXA scan if you break a bone over the age of 50, you are a postmenopausal woman whose not taking estrogen, or you are exhibiting signs of osteoporosis. You should also consider a DEXA scan if you have a family history of bone-related problems, have a thyroid condition, use medications that are known to cause bone loss, or have high bone turnover.
How to Prepare for the DEXA Scan
Preparing for this test is relatively easy as there are no special preparations required.You will want to wear comfortable clothes that do not have any zippers or metal on them, but you can also put on a hospital gown when you arrive at our clinic. If you have been taking calcium supplements, you will be required to stop taking them for at least 24 hours before your test. If you are pregnant or have gone through certain medical procedures, such as a barium enema, you should share this information with your doctor before your DEXA test day.
What the Scan Involves
This scan is a quick outpatient procedure. It involves you lying on an x-ray table while the DEXA machine passes over your body using an enhanced form of x-ray technology to measure your bone density, muscles, and fat. The bone densitometry test takes about 10 to 30 minutes at most to complete. It truly is a quick and painless process.
Why Get This Test?
The main reason many people get this test done is to measure their bone mineral content and density. However, the scan can also be used to check whether your osteoporosis treatments are working. DEXA scans can also help determine your risk of getting a bone fracture.