Dexa Scan is the same as a Bone Density Scan.
In patients who are at risk of osteoporosis, a DEXA scan is the test of choice. Each testing machine is slightly different, but the overall experience is pain free, and there should not be any concerns about claustrophobia.
The patient lies down onto a table, and a small wand scans the areas measured for bone density. Typically, the technologist will scan the lumbar spine, and both hips.
The bone density test indicates the thickness of the bone. Unfortunately however, it does not measure the quality of the bone. Therefore, in certain patients who have had improvement of their bone density, it may not reflect an improvement of bone quality.
Still, it is a good screening tool for patients at risk for osteoporosis, and to monitor effects of treatments and medications.
Radiation dosing for a DEXA is very small relative to other diagnostic test.
Last modified: October 22, 2019