About the Scan – Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA, previously DEXA)

SMIL offers Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA, previously DEXA)to measure the strength, density and mineral content of bone. DXA is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause but may also be found in men. Osteoporosis involves a gradual loss of calcium, as well as structural changes, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to break.

DXA is also effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss. DXA can also access an individual’s risk for developing fractures.

Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry is strongly recommended if you:

  • Are a post-menopausal women and not taking estrogen
  • Have a personal or maternal history of hip fracture or smoking
  • Are a post-menopausal woman who is tall (over 5 feet 7 inches) or this (less than 125 pounds)
  • Are a man with clinical conditions associated with bone loss
  • Use medications that are known to cause bone loss
  • Have type one diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease or a family history of osteoporosis
  • Have high bone turnover, which shows up in the form of excessive collagen in urine samples
  • Have a thyroid condition
  • Have a parathyroid condition
  • Have experienced a fracture after only mild trauma
  • Have had x-ray evidence of vertebral fracture or other signs of osteoporosis

Learn how to prepare for DXA in the preparations for Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry section.

Find out DXA is right for you in the benefits and risks of Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry section.

For a downloadable/printable PDF about this exam with preparation instructions click here.

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