The bone density exam, uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce images of the inside of the body (usually the lower part of the spine and hip) to measure any bone loss and bone density. It is usually used to diagnose osteoporosis and to evaluate the risk of having a a bone fracture in an individual. The Bone Densimetry is a simple and fast exam and it is not invasive. It is the most accurate method to diagnose osteoporosis.
The bone density test is highly recommended in the following cases
- A post-menopausal woman who does not ingest estrogen.
- have a maternal or personal history of smoking or hip fracture
- In post-menopausal tall women (more than 5 feet and 7 inches) or thin women(less than 125 pounds)
- men with clinical diseases associated with bone loss
- If taking medicines that are known to cause bone loss, including corticosteroids such as Prednisone, different anticonvulsant medications such as Dilantin and certain barbiturates, or high-dose thyroid replacement drugs.
- Have type 1 diabetes (formerly called juvenile or insulin-dependent), liver disease, kidney disease or family history of osteoporosis.
- Have a high bone turnover, which is shown in the form of excessive collagen in the urine samples.
- Suffers from a disease in the thyroid, such as hyperthyroidism
- Suffers from a disease in the parathyroid, such as hyperparathyroidism
- Have experienced a fracture after mild trauma
- X-rays exam shows vertebral fracture or other signs of osteoporosis.
Lateral vertebral evaluation (LVA), a low dose test of X-ray of the spine to detect vertebral fractures that is done with the DEX/DEXA machine can be recommended for elderly patients, especially if:
- there is a loss of more than an inch in height
- there is back pain with no reason
- a DEX/DEXA exam shows limit results.
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