Bone Density/DXA

For more information please contact the Imaging Department:

(360) 374-6271 ext 166
Fax: (360) 374-6084

Monday – Friday 8AM-4PM By appointment only
What is a Bone Density Scan?

A bone density scan, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) or bone densitometry, is a specialized form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone loss. DXA of the spine and hip is the established standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD).

A DXA scan uses an extremely low dose of radiation (one-quarter to one-tenth that of a regular chest x-ray). Densitometry is commonly used as a preventive measure for osteoporosis (poor bone strength).

During the exam, the patient lies flat on the cushioned table, while the scanner passes over the targeted area. At one point during the exam the patient’s legs will be elevated with a cushioned support. An exam typically lasts 15 minutes.

Some risk factors for osteoporosis include:

Natural or surgical menopause

Prolonged Hormone Replacement Therapy

Previous fracture

Medication use including steroids and hormones

Caucasian or Asian descent

Thin or small build

Family history of osteoporosis

Tobacco use

Excessive alcohol use

Inactive lifestyle

Inadequate calcium intake