A bone density scan often referred to as a DEXA scan is used primarily to measure the health of your bones.
What you should know
What is a DEXA scan?
Bone density scanning, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) or bone densitometry, is an enhanced form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone loss. DEXA is an established standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD).
DEXA is most often performed on the lower spine and hips. In children and some adults, the whole body is sometimes scanned. Peripheral devices that use x-ray or ultrasound are sometimes used to screen for low bone mass. A CT scan with special software can also be used to diagnose or monitor low bone mass (QCT). See CT Bone Density, which is an accurate but less commonly used method of determining bone mineral density.
Note: Imaging Associates performs DEXA bone density screenings at our Mat-Su Valley Trunk location only. CT Bone Densitometry is available at our Anchorage location.
What is a CT bone density scan?
A CT Bone Density scan (QCT) is an extremely accurate way to diagnose osteoporosis and determine your risk for a future fracture. Learn More
How do I prepare for my test?
If you think you may be pregnant, notify your physician before taking the test. The only change in your normal routine we ask you to make is to withhold calcium supplements for two days prior to your exam. Eat, drink, and take you other medications as you normally would. If you have had an imaging procedure of the stomach or intestines using barium, you should wait a minimum of 2-3 days until all the barium is gone before your test.
What should I expect during my test?
You will lie on your back, on a padded table, in a comfortable position. Once positioned by a skilled technologist, a scanner arm will scan the appropriate exam sites, readily producing the necessary images to diagnose your condition. The exam takes about 20 minutes.
How do I get the results?
A final report, produced by one of Alaska Radiology Associate’s local specialized radiologists, will be available for most exams within two hours. Questions about your results should be directed to your referring health care provider. For any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us directly.
Who do I contact with questions?
Questions about the results of your exam should be directed to your primary health care provider. For any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us directly.