Bone densitometry, or DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry), measures the strength of your bones to determine whether you are at risk for developing osteoporosis or osteopenia (decreased bone mass) — osteopenia often develops into osteoporosis.
Risk factors for osteoporosis/osteopenia
- Postmenopausal female
- Small, thin frame
- Lack of calcium in diet
- Lack of weight-bearing exercise
- Certain medications such as anticonvulsants and steroids
Doctors use the test to develop an appropriate treatment plan to slow the progression of disease and prevent fractures. Early detection can allow doctors to begin therapy when it can be most beneficial. Patients having this exam are asked to complete a questionnaire to aid the radiologist in assessing your risk factors. Please bring a list of your medications to aid in the completion of the questionnaire.