Dexa scanning is done using enhanced X-rays to measure Bone Mineral Density or BMA. Hence, it is also referred to as a BMD scan. It measures the density of the bone tissue. It is a non-invasive procedure, which allows your doctor to evaluate bone health and detect bone loss. Dexa scans are commonly employed to investigate osteoporosis of the lower spine and hip.
Cancer can also cause bone loss and your oncologist may subject you to BMD assessment prior to and during the treatment. The DXA equipment bombards the body with low-energy X-rays to capture images and data of the bones under examination. Thereafter, computer software calculates the mineral density in the bone.
You will be asked to lie on an examination table with the DXA scanner positioned directly above you. You must lie very still for the few seconds while the X-rays are directed towards you.
You cannot take any calcium supplements for 24 hours before the scan. You cannot have any metal objects like a watch or jewellery, on your person during a DEXA scan. Though your medical team will discuss the test with you in detail, make sure to inform them if: You are on calcium supplements You are breastfeeding or pregnant You have been through a CT or radioisotope scan within the preceding 14 days You have been exposed to Barium within the preceding 14 days