Bone Densitometry has become the gold standard for measuring the density of your bones. The results of your exam are compared to others whose age, sex and ethnic background are similar to yours. DEXA bone densitometry is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause, but may 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 on a treatment plan 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.
On the day of the exam eat normally, but don't take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours beforehand. Wear loose, comfortable clothing, avoiding garments that have zippers, belts or buttons made of metal.
Inform your physician if you recently had a barium examination or have been injected with a contrast material for a computed tomography (CT) scan or radioisotope scan; you may have to wait 10 to 14 days before undergoing a DEXA test. Women should always inform their physician or x-ray technologist if there is a possibility they are pregnant.
AGH's Radiology department is located on the first floor of Allegan General Hospital. For more information on Bone Densitometry or to schedule a procedure, please call our Radiology department at (269) 686-4210.
To learn more specific information about Bone Densitometry procedures go to: www.radiologyinfo.org.