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Digital Imaging

DEXA- Bone Density Scan

Bone density scanning or dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis—a condition that often affects women after menopause, but can also be found in men. Osteoporosis involves a gradual loss of calcium, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile, and more likely to break.

The DEXA test can also assess your risk for developing fractures. If your bone density is found to be low, you and your physician can work together to develop a treatment plan designed to help prevent fractures before they occur. DEXA is also effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis or for other conditions that cause bone loss.

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’ 7”) or thin (less than 125 pounds)
  • 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 diabetes—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 experienced a fracture after only mild trauma
  • Have had X-ray evidence of vertebral fracture or other signs of osteoporosis