A bone densitometry study by DEXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) is an accurate way to determine who is at risk, in order to allow treatment before a fracture occurs, or to follow the benefits of therapy in those who already suffer from the problem.
Experts recommend this test for post-menopausal women with risk factors such as family history, women who are 65 years old or older, men or women on corticosteroid treatment (such as prednisone), men or women with a history of fracture not caused by severe trauma, and people with hormonal abnormalities such as hyperparathyroidism.
If you begin a treatment for osteoporosis, bone densitometry is also the best way that your physician can tell if the medicine is helping. Bone densitometry is easy and safe. The study is non-invasive, requires no preparation, and takes less than 20 minutes. The radiation exposure is a fraction of that obtained from a chest x-ray.
For more information about this screening procedure, talk to your doctor. Only a physician can schedule you for this special diagnostic study. The images acquired during your procedure will be reviewed by a radiologist, who will then report the results to your doctor. Your doctor will discuss the results with you at your next appointment.