Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is a noninvasive bone density test that helps doctors diagnose osteoporosis. The board-certified diagnostic radiologists at Tri-City Radiology in Kennewick, Washington, provide state-of-the-art DEXA testing services for patients in the southeastern Washington region. Our team of diagnostic radiology experts and skilled technologists who offer the latest imaging services in a comfortable, conveniently located testing center. Call today to schedule your DEXA test.
DEXA stands for Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. It’s a painless, noninvasive test used to diagnose osteoporosis and other bone density issues common in women after menopause. The DEXA test evaluates the density of bones in your spine, hip, and sometimes arm to predict the chances of a fracture in the future.
The DEXA test uses a tiny amount of radiation to produce images of the inside of your lower spine and hips so your doctor can measure any bone loss. If your bone mineral density (BMD) is low, you may have an increased risk of spinal and hip fractures. DEXA imaging is the most accurate way to diagnose osteoporosis.
DEXA is commonly used to evaluate BMD in women after menopause. In rare cases, men and children may also need to have DEXA to determine bone loss or structural changes. It can also assess your risk of developing fractures. Bone density testing is usually recommended under the following circumstances:
The DEXA procedure is painless, noninvasive, and takes about 15 minutes. We recommend that you stop taking all calcium and vitamin supplements for 24 hours prior to the exam. You should dress in comfortable clothing with nothing that contains metal, like zippers, snaps, hooks, or underwires so you don’t have to change into a hospital gown.
During the procedure, you lie comfortably on a padded table with an X-ray machine below you and an imaging device overhead. You may need to rest your legs on a padded box to flatten your pelvis so the machine can get an accurate image.
Additionally, to evaluate your hip, you typically put your foot in a brace that rotates your hip inward. The image detector passes over each area and sends a picture to a computer monitor so the technologist can view it.
To schedule a bone density test, call the Tri-City Radiology office to make an appointment.