Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry

Also known as: DXA, DEXA, DEXA scan, bone densitometry.

What is dual energy X-ray absorptiometry?

Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry is an imaging test that is used to measure bone density. It’s performed by exposing the bones to a small dose of ionizing radiation.

What happens during the procedure?

The patient lies on an X-ray table while a machine is used to scan the body. The test is frequently performed on the lower spine and hips but can be performed on the entire body.

Is any special preparation needed?

Patients should avoid wearing jewelry to the exam and wear comfortable clothing. Calcium supplements should be avoided for 24 hours before the test.

What are the risk factors?

There is a very slight risk of cancer and a risk to the unborn fetus in pregnant women with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry.

Reviewed by: Carrie Firestone Baum, MD

This page was last updated on: June 21, 2019 01:27 AM

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