A bone density test can help diagnose osteoporosis. It is a short, painless scan that measures the density (strength) of your bones, usually at the hip and spine.
At Life Medical Imaging, we perform bone mineral densitometry using DEXA technology (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry).
Which uses low dose x-rays of different energy levels to assess the bone density at clinically relevant sites (eg lumbar spine and hip).
- Total body BMD
- BMD for body parts (eg. leg, arm, trunk, spine, pelvis)
- Body Composition
- Percentage fat – legs, arms, pelvis, trunk, total, with normal range for age graphs.
- Percentage lean mass
- Total body mass, fat tissue weight, lean tissue weight
- Tissue fat/tissue lean percentages for body part eg. pelvis
- Resting metabolic rate
- Relative skeletal muscle index (relative muscle in the arms and legs)
- Lean Mass balance (compares lean mass of the left and right sides of the body)
- Data and population comparison graphs
- Trend comparison graphs (if follow up studies are performed over time)
- Colour coded body composition distribution maps
DEXA scans are usually outpatient procedures. There are not any special preparations needed, except to stop taking any calcium supplements for 24 hours before the test. Wear comfortable clothing. Depending on the body area being scanned, you may have to take off any clothes with metal fasteners, zippers, or hooks
A bone density scan or DEXA scan takes approximately 10-15 minutes. Before the bone density test begins, you will be asked to lie down on a table. A small X-ray will scan your lumbar spine and both hips. From the images the doctor will be able to evaluate bone mineral (calcium) content of the bone.