Often asked: What is a dexa scan?

What does a DEXA scan tell you?

A DEXA scan is a high-precision type of X-ray that measures your bone mineral density and bone loss. If your bone density is lower than normal for your age, it indicates a risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures. DEXA stands for dual energy X-ray absorptiometry.

What is a DEXA scan and how long does it take?

An X-ray detector inside the scanning arm measures the amount of X-rays that have passed through your body. This information will be used to produce an image of the scanned area. The scan usually takes 10 to 20 minutes. You’ll be able to go home after you have had it done.

How do you prepare for a bone density test?

How should I prepare? On the day of the exam you may eat normally. You should not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your exam. You should wear loose, comfortable clothing, avoiding garments that have zippers, belts or buttons made of metal.

Is a bone scan and a DEXA scan the same thing?

Keep in mind that a bone scan is a different test than a bone density study (such as DEXA ), which evaluates bone strength and your risk of osteoporosis (thinning of the bones ).

Can you wear a bra for a DEXA scan?

Patients should not have had a barium study, radioisotope injection, or an oral or IV contrast material from a CT scan or MRI within 7 days prior to their DEXA exam. Patient should wear loose, comfortable clothing. Sweat suits and casual attire without zippers, buttons, grommets, metal hooks, or underwire bra.

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How long does it take to get DEXA scan results?

Although the timing varies according to the hospital, facility, and radiologist who will be assessing your DEXA scan, you probably will hear back from your doctor with the results within a week or two. The results of a bone density measurement ( DEXA scan ) are reported in two ways: as T-scores and as Z-scores.

Do you have to undress for a bone density test?

In most cases, you do not need to undress. This scan is the best test to predict your risk for fractures, especially of the hip. Peripheral DEXA (p-DEXA) — These smaller machines measure the bone density in your wrist, fingers, leg, or heel.

At what age do you stop DEXA scans?

Screening guidelines often change after age 75.

USPSTF screening guidelines for women ages 50 and over
Breast cancer Mammogram every two years, to age 74.
Osteoporosis Bone density testing with dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) at unspecified intervals in women ages 65 and over.+
Vision loss No recommendation.

How can I check my bone density at home?

The most commonly used test is known as a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan, and it can be performed with devices that measure bone density in the hip and spine, or smaller peripheral devices to measure bone density in the wrist, heel, or finger.

What age should a woman get a bone density test?

Bone density tests are recommended for all women age 65 and older, and for younger women at higher-than-normal risk for a fracture.

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What happens if your bone density is low?

A person may have low bone mass at any age but not develop osteoporosis. However, if a person has low bone mass and continues to lose bone density, this may lead to osteoporosis. A combination of low bone mass and a risk factor for fracture may increase your risk for broken bones, too.

What can show up on a bone density test?

A bone density scan, also known as a DEXA scan, is a type of low-dose x-ray test that measures calcium and other minerals in your bones. The measurement helps show the strength and thickness (known as bone density or mass) of your bones.

Can a DEXA scan show arthritis?

When bone density is measured using DXA scanning, people with advanced (but not early) osteoarthritis in the spine (but not the hip) can appear to have a higher bone density than that measured by other methods because osteophytes (bone spurs) and disc narrowing may give the impression that the bone is thicker than it

What is a normal DEXA scan score?

DXA Scan Results T- score of -1.0 or above = normal bone density. T- score between -1.0 and -2.5 = low bone density, or osteopenia. T- score of -2.5 or lower = osteoporosis.

Can I take vitamin D before a bone density test?

No special preparation is required for bone density testing. As stated above, PLEASE DO NOT TAKE VITAMINS, CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS, TUMS OR ROLAIDS on the day of your appointment or we will have to reschedule your bone density appointment. Please continue to take all prescription medications.

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