Densitometry, also called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, DEXA, or DXA, uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce images of the inside of the body (usually the lower (or lumbar) spine and hips) to measure bone loss. It is commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis and to assess an individual’s risk of developing osteoporotic fractures. DXA is simple, fast, and non-invasive. It is also the most commonly used and most standard method for diagnosing osteoporosis.
This exam requires little or no special preparation. Tell your doctor and technologist if you are pregnant or if you have recently had a barium test or have received a CT or radioisotope contrast injection. Leave the jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown. You should not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your examination.