Bone Density Scanning (DEXA Scan)

When suspecting osteoporosis or other bone related condition, Ob-Gyn Associates helps patients by utilizing bone density scanning, or the DEXA scan. Patients can undergo evaluation at our Silver Spring, Maryland office. To book an appointment for bone density scanning, please call our office. Bone density scanning appointments cannot currently be booked online.

What is bone density scanning?

DEXA Scan stands for Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry and it is used to evaluate bone mineral density. This tool can:

  • Detect the presence of osteoporosis and osteopenic in women and men
  • Screen for osteoporosis, particularly in women looking into hormone replacement therapy for menopause management
  • Predict the risk of a future fracture
  • Monitor bone density in those with lower levels and those undergoing osteoporosis treatment

How is bone mineral density measured?

DEXA is the favored technique for measuring bone density. DEXA is fairly easy to perform and the radiation exposure is typically low. A DEXA scanner, a machine that produces two X ray beams with different energy levels, is used to perform the assessment. One beam is high-energy and the other is low-energy. The X-ray amount, which passes through the bone, is measured for each beam. This will change depending on the bone’s thickness. The bone density is measured based on the difference between the two beams. during the procedure the patient will lie on an x-ray table.

Who should undergo bone density scanning?

Bone density testing is suggested for those who:

  • Are postmenopausal
  • Have a personal or maternal history of hip fracture
  • Are a smoker
  • Are postmenopausal and over 5 feet 7 inches tall or thin, less than 125 pounds.
  • Use medications which cause bone loss such as corticosteroids including Prednisone, various anti-seizure medications like Dilantin and specific barbiturates, or high-dose thyroid replacement medications
  • Have type 1 diabetes, liver or kidney disease, or a family history of osteoporosis
  • Have high bone turnover, which produces excessive collagen in urine
  • Have a thyroid condition like hyperthyroidism
  • Have a parathyroid condition like hyperparathyroidism
  • Have experienced a fracture after mild trauma
  • Have had an X-ray reveal a vertebral fracture or other indication of osteoporosis