Dexa stands for Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry. It measures bone mineral density by using a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. These pictures (usually of the lower spine and hips) are used to measure bone loss.
What to Expect
A physician's order is required to have a DEXA scan. It is a quick and simple way to diagnose osteopenia, osteoporosis, or risk for determining a risk for developing fractures. DEXA images are analyzed by a board-certified radiologist who will send a report to your primary care doctor or ordering physician.
Preparing for a DEXA Scan
- It is important to tell your doctor and the technologist if there is a chance you:
- are pregnant
- have recently had a barium exam
- received an injection of contrast material for a CT
- received radioisotope for a nuclear medicine scan
- Do not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your exam
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing without metal zippers, buttons or snaps