Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA)
Bone densitometry (DEXA) uses low-dose x-rays to measure bone density and thickness. The DEXA exam is the best way to diagnose bone density loss (osteoporosis) and assess your risk of developing fractures. Osteoporosis can be treated successfully if diagnosed early.
How can I prepare for the exam?
For accurate results, you should stop taking calcium supplements for two days prior to the exam.
What should I expect during the exam?
The DEXA exam is quick and painless. Using the Hologic Discovery system, the exam usually takes less than 20 minutes. You will be asked to lie atop an open examination table and stay still.
Is the DEXA exam safe?
Yes. The radiation dose of the DEXA exam is even less than that of a typical dental x-ray exam and is equivalent to about 3 hours of natural background radiation. As usual, please inform your technologist if you are pregnant.