What is a DEXA Scan?
A dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan, also called a bone density scan, is a very common technique used to measure bone density. This completely painless procedure is easily performed by one of The Women's Center health care providers and exposes the patient to minimal radiation.
What is the DEXA Scan Procedure Like?
A bone density scan or DEXA scan can usually ake about 15 minutes. Before the bone density test starts, you will be requested to lie down on a table in one of our in-office procedure rooms. A small X-ray will scan your lumbar spine and both of your hips. From the images received, Women's Center health care provider will be able to evaluate bone mineral (calcium) content of your bones. The amount of calcium correlates with bony content and with bone strength.
The amount of calcium in bone found is compared to a database of normal patients, with standard deviations from normal reported as a T-score. A T score of -1 to -2.5 (standard deviations below mean) is considered osteopenia, while T-score of less than -2.5 is considered osteoporosis, based on WHO criteria.
Women are especially susceptible to developing osteoporosis after menopause, when they lose the protective effects of estrogen, while men usually are affected less frequently. Vertebral and hip fractures are common consequences of osteoporosis.