Sunday, 16 September 2012

DEXA Scans

A DEXA scan involves lying on an X-ray table so that the affected area of the body can be scanned.
Photograph: Bupa

A DEXA scan (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) is a special type of X-ray that measures bone density. DEXA scans are most commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis. They can can also be used to assess the risk of osteoporosis developing in a patient.

DEXA scans involve x-rays being passed through the body, meaning that some radiation will be absorbed by the bones. Specialised detectors measure the dose of radiation the patient receives during the DEXA scan. This measurement is then compared with the average range for bone density in a healthy adult of the same age and gender. 

DEXA scans, like most medical imaging techniques, is safe and painless and is more effective in measuring low density in comparison to an ordinary X-ray scan. It also uses a lower level of radiation. 

DEXA scans are not recommended for pregnant women, as they are not considered safe for an unborn child, as they can cause the foetus damage.

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