What is Bone Densitometry
Bone densitometry is an imaging test that uses a special X-ray to measure the amount of calcium and other minerals in your bones (bone density).
This test is also known as a bone mineral density test or dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The test can measure bone density at your hip and your spine. It is similar to having a regular X-ray.
You may have this test to:
- Diagnose a condition that causes weak or thin bones (osteoporosis).
- Predict your risk of a broken bone (fracture).
- Determine how well osteoporosis treatment is working.
Tell a health care provider about:
- Any allergies you have.
- All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.
- Any problems you or family members have had with anesthetic medicines.
- Any blood disorders you have.
- Any surgeries you have had.
- Any medical conditions you have.
- Possibility of pregnancy.
- Any other medical test you had within the previous 14 days that used contrast material.
What are the risks?
Generally, this is a safe procedure. However, problems can occur and may include the following:
- This test exposes you to a very small amount of radiation.
- The risks of radiation exposure may be greater to unborn children.
What happens before the procedure?
- Do nottake any calcium supplements for 24 hours before having the test. You can otherwise eat and drink what you usually do.
- Take off all metal jewelry, eyeglasses, dental appliances, and any other metal objects.
What happens during the procedure?
- You may lie on an exam table. There will be an X-ray generator below you and an imaging device above you.
- Other devices, such as boxes or braces, may be used to position your body properly for the scan.
- You will need to lie still while the machine slowly scans your body.
- The images will show up on a computer monitor.
What happens after the procedure?
You may need more testing at a later time.