Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA)
DEXA scan stands for"Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry." This is a special X-ray test that measures bone density. If you are at risk for osteoporosis or have shown some signs of lowered bone density, your doctor may recommend a DEXA scan.
The DEXA scan procedure is painless, and usually takes about ten minutes to complete. You will lie on a padded exam table, while the X-ray equipment passes overhead and records your bone density.
You will recieve two different"scores" from your DEXA scan. The first, called a"Z-score," measures the difference between your bone density and the average bone density for people of your age, sex, ethnicity and size. The second, called a"T-score," measures the difference between your bone density and the ideal bone density for a 30-year-old adult of your same sex and ethnicity. Using these results, your doctor can determine whether or not you have osteoporosis or are at risk for developing it. This information can also help your doctor advise dietary changes, medications or other treatments to help improve your bone density.