Bone mineral density (BMD) measurement is a test that measures the amount of calcium in certain bones, it assess the severity of osteoporosis and can estimate the risk for fracture. BMD is also referred to as bone density. This test is easy, fast, painless and non-invasive.
A BMD may be recommended for the following reasons:
- If an X-ray shows low bone mass (osteopenia) or possibly osteoporosis
- Women who experience early menopause
- Women over age 65
- A family history of osteoporosis
- Post-menopausal women who sustain a fracture
- Patients who take steroids regularly
The most sensitive and safest tool available to detect and measure the degree of osteoporosis is Bone Densitometry and the most sensitive and accurate way to do this is Dual X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA). At DRA we perform this study utilizing the most advanced system in production (the GE-LUNA Whole Body Imager). Unlike screening units using ultrasound or simpler single photon units, we are able to measure bone density in both back and hop sites. Our unit is also reliable and reproducible enough, so that the results of therapy for patients with proven osteoporosis can be accurately measured.
DRA includes in your DEXA report your FRAX score. The FRAX tool has been developed by WHO (World Health Organization) to evaluate fracture risk of patients. The FRAX algorithms give the 10-year probability of fracture. It is based on individual models that integrate the risk associated with clinical risk factors as well as bone mineral density (BMD) at the femoral neck.
X-ray is used for this study so you should inform the technologist if there is any possibility you may be pregnant.
No calcium 24 hours prior to exam and it can be performed in street clothing. Patients lie on a comfortable table for approximately 20 minutes. After the study a radiologist will prepare a report for your physician which will be forwarded to his or her office.