What is bone densitometry?
Reduced bone density and osteoporosis increases the risk of fracture.
Bone density is measured using a dual energy X-ray (DXA) scanner. This scan depends on the attenuation of a small dose of X-ray passing through the bone of interest. The measurements are very reliable and reproducible.
The test takes about 30 minutes to perform and usually measures bone density in the lumbar spine, hip and sometimes the forearm.
Scanning the hip and spine is the best way of predicting the risk of fracture at these sites. Total body measurements and body composition can also be measured. The radiation exposure in these tests is very low.
The amount of bone present is compared to the gender based average for a young adult and age matched peer to identify those at risk of developing osteoporosis and to monitor change with or without treatment.