Bone Densitometry

clock97 Typical Length of Exam:
Approximately 20-30 minutes
tshirt17 Dress Requirements:
Wear loose, comfortable clothing with no zippers, metal buttons, or other metal parts.
Please do not wear jewellery.
Refrain from wearing perfume or cologne.
Examination gowns are provided as necessary.
drugs5 Medication and Dietary Requirements:
You may take your usual medications except for calcium-containing medications on the day of the exam.
If you have had a barium examination, intravenous contrast for a CT examination, or an isotope injection for a nuclear medicine examination, you will have to wait 10-14 days before having bone mineral densitometry performed.
pregnancy SPECIAL ALERT:
Be sure to tell your doctor or the technologist before the procedure if you are pregnant or believe you could be pregnant. This test is not usually performed during pregnancy.


What is bone mineral densitometry (BMD)?
Bone mineral densitometry, also known as dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), is a low-dose X-ray examination used to assess for possible bone loss (osteoporosis).

What is BMD used for?

  1. Diagnosing osteoporosis
  2. Determining fracture risk
  3. Measuring the effects of treatment
    (It is best to perform this examination at the same facility every time to allow for more accurate comparison from one exam to the next.)

What you can expect:
The technologist will ask you to lie on the examination table. For each body part to be examined, you will be positioned appropriately. Usually the lumbar spine and hips are examined but, occasionally, the forearm or total body may be assessed. A detector will move over the body part and an image will be generated on the computer monitor. A radiologist will then review the images and send a report to the referring physician.