DEXA - Bone Density


Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

  • Family history
  • Post-menopausal status
  • Use of certain medications known to cause bone loss
  • Previous fracture
  • Smoking
  • Diet low in calcium, phosphorus or vitamin D
  • Lifestyle with little or no weight-bearing exercise

Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, or DEXA, is an enhanced form of x-ray technology used for measuring bone mineral density (BMD). Using two different x-ray beams to analyze the density of the bones in your spine and hip, DEXA determines the amount of minerals, such as calcium, and assesses the thickness and strength of the bones. Loss of bone mass is part of the natural aging process, but some people are at risk of developing osteoporosis - a condition that generally affects women after menopause, but it can also be found in men. Osteoporosis involves the loss of calcium in the bones causing them to become thinner and more fragile. DEXA is most commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis, but may also be used to monitor treatment once osteoporosis has been diagnosed.

Your DEXA Exam.

During a DEXA scan, you will lie flat on a table while the "arm" of the equipment passes over certain areas of your body. You will not see or feel anything during the exam. A DEXA scan is a very quick test - generally less than 15 minutes in length.

Be sure to inform the Technologist if there is any chance you may be pregnant or if you have recently had any other imaging exam where you were given contrast material for another imaging exam such as oral barium, intravenous x-ray dye or if you've recently received a scan using a radioisotope.

Next Steps.

After your study is over, the images will be evaluated by one of our radiologists. A final report will be sent to your physician who can then discuss the results with you in detail.

DEXA Exams are Performed at:

East Hawaii Women's Imaging Center and West Hawaii Office

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Hawaii Radiologic Associates