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What is a DEXA Bone Density Test?
A DEXA Bone Density Test is an enhanced form of x-ray technology used to measure bone loss. Other names for DEXA Bone Density are: dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and bone densitometry.
DEXA Bone Density Studies are considered the “Gold Standard” for diagnosing Osteoporosis, as well as for following changes in bone density over time.
A Bone Density Test measures the density of your bones, and can monitor your rate of bone loss and response to therapy.
Myth: Patients receive a large amount of radiation.
Fact: The amount of radiation is only a fraction of that received from a standard Chest X-Ray.
Bone Density Testing Offered
What Can I Expect During the Exam?
When you arrive, you will be asked to change into a gown, and then a Technologist will then assist you to the Bone Density Room where you will lie on a comfortable table. * Please remove ALL metal, buttons, and heavy elastic prior to exam. *
- Exam time ~ 5 minutes
- Exam is painless, non-invasive and safe
- You may eat and drink prior to exam
Are There Any Restrictions to Having a Bone Density Test?
- 300-pound weight limit
- Must wait 5 days after:
- Barium Study (link to Flouroscopy page)
- Intravenous Pyelogram
- CT Scan with injected IV contrast
- Nuclear Medicine Study
What Do the Results Mean?
Your results will be classified into one of three categories; Normal, Osteopenia or Osteoporosis.
NORMAL BONE MASS: A repeat study is suggest in 3-5 to 5 years to evaluate new bone loss
OSTEOPENIA: Osteopenia refers to bone density that is lower than normal peak density but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis. Osteopenia is a bone condition characterized by a decreased density of bone, which leads to bone weakening and an increased risk of breaking a bone (fracture). Repeat the Screening in 1 year to determine progression toward Osteoporosis.
National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) Guideline recommendations for all people with T-score of -1.5 and below with risk factors, or -2.0 and below without risk factors the following:
The NOF recommends adults take the recommended daily intake of both calcium and Vitamin D. Calcium intake recommendation of: 1,200mg taken in divided doses, no more than 600 mg at once, to ensure optimal intestinal absorption. Vitamin D intake recommendation of: 400-800 IU daily
Include exercise into your daily routine.
Treatment with prescription bisphosphonates (Fosamax and Actonel) and Evista or hormone therapy may be an option based on review of risks and benefits of treatment. The decision to use bisphosphonates or hormones is made by your primary care physician on a case-by-case basis, depending on each individual.
People with diagnosed cases of osteopenia or at high risk for fracture should have regular bone mineral density tests. For patients eligible for Medicare, routine testing is allowed once every 2 years. The testing frequency can be increased to one year for patients who have rapidly progressing disease, those who are receiving or discontinuing medical therapy to restore bone mass, or have addition risk factors.
OSTEOPOROSIS: Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that happens when you lose too much bone; make too little bone or both. As a result, your bones become weak and may break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, even from sneezing or bumping into furniture. Repeat study in 1 year to evaluate effects of Therapy or progression of bone loss.
National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) Guideline recommends all people with T-scores of -2.5 and below (osteoporosis) consider:
Treatment with prescription osteoporosis medication. Effective therapies are available in the form of bisphosphonates (Fosamax and Actonel), Miacalcin, Evista and Forteo. The decision to use bisphosphonates is made by your primary care physician on a case-by-case basis, depending on each individual.
The NOF recommends adults under age 50 need 1,000 mg of calcium and 400-800 IU of Vitamin D daily. Adults 50 and over need 1,200 mg of calcium and 800-1,000 IU of Vitamin D daily.
Include exercise into your daily routine.
People with diagnosed cases of osteoporosis or at high risk for fracture should have regular bone mineral density tests. For patients eligible or Medicare, routine testing is allowed once every 2 years. The testing frequency can be increased to one year for patients who have rapidly progressing disease, those who are receiving or discontinuing medical therapy to restore bone mass, or have additional risk factors.
Who Interprets and How Will I Receive the Results of the Test?
The Radiologic Physician will forward your results to your referring Physician along with follow-up recommendations. Your Physician should contact you with the results.
Can Anything Be Done if the Test is Positive?
Yes. Your Primary Care Physician can recommend several treatment options, such as:
- Dietary Changes
What About Payment?
Most insurance plans pay for test with an approved diagnosis, such as:
- Ovarian Failure (Menopause)
- Ovaries Removed
- Medication Induced Bone Loss (ex. steroids)
- Thyroid Disorders
- Eating Disorders
Radiology Consultants will file all insurance as a courtesy to you. Depending on the Contractual Agreement with your Insurance Company, you may owe a co-payment and/or deductible at the time of service.
*Please bring your Insurance Card with you *
Please visit our BILLING PAGE for specific information on Insurance, Self-Pay, Motor Vehicle Accident, Cash, Debit or Major Credit Card payment options.
Please notify the Radiologic Physician and/or Technologist if there is a possibility you are pregnant. Radiation is potentially harmful to a developing baby during pregnancy.
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** All images are for educational purposes only. Consult your physician for a proper diagnosis.**
Source: Radiology Info. org
Source: National Osteoporosis Foundation