DXA Bone Density Screening - The Best Test Available for Early Osteoporosis Detection
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately 55 percent of people age 50 and older in the United States have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease in which the body’s gradual loss of calcium makes the bones become thinner, more fragile, and increasingly susceptible to fractures.
DXA (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry), available throughout the BayCare network of imaging centers, is the most up-to-date and accurate screening available for detecting the early stages of bone loss associated with osteoporosis or low bone mass. Also used to track bone mineral density (BMD) during the treatment of osteoporosis, DXA is replacing older methods such as dual photon absorptiometry (DPA).
Benefits of DXA
Measuring BMD is recommended for women older than age 65 and for women ages 60 to 65 who have risk factors for osteoporosis for several reasons. It can:
- Detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs
- Predict your chances of fracturing in the future
- Determine the rate of bone loss and/or monitor the effects of treatment if it is conducted at regular intervals
- Is a painless procedure with minimal radiation exposure
Osteoporosis is both treatable and preventable. Early diagnosis, treatment, and the use of bone density testing such as DXA available at BayCare Imaging Centers can greatly lower the risk of fractures before they occur enabling you to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.
DXA Bone Density Preparation
How do I prepare for the exam?
- Any special instructions will be provided at the time you schedule your exam.
- Do not take anything that contains calcium or milk of magnesia the day before or the day of your exam.
- Notify a BayCare Imaging Professional if you are nursing or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to verify your registration information.
What should I expect during the exam?
- DXA is safe and painless. It requires no injections, invasive procedures or sedation.
- During the exam, you lie fully clothed on a padded table while the system scans one or more areas of bone (usually the lower spine or hip).
- While DXA uses X-rays, the radiation dose is less than during a chest X-ray.
What happens after the exam?
- A musculoskeletal radiologist who specializes in bones and muscles will review your images.
- The radiologist prepares a diagnostic report to share with your doctor.
- Your doctor will consider this information in context of your overall care and talk with you about the results.
To make an appointment, please call:
Hillsborough County: (813) 635-3610
Pinellas/Pasco Counties: (727) 461-8555