Bone mineral densitometry

Bone Mineral Densitometry

A bone density test, or DEXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) scan, is designed to check for osteoporosis, a disease that occurs when bones become thin and weak. Bone densitometry is a simple and painless test that uses special low energy x-rays to measure the strength of your bones and determines the risk of fracture.

Gympie Radiology has the latest in fan beam technology, increasing the accuracy and reliability compared with conventional pencil beam scanners. Scans can be performed in 5 -10 minutes.

Preparing for your examination

Bone Mineral Densitometry scans take approximately 20 minutes, please contact us to arrange an appointment.

What to bring:

  • A referral from your GP or specialist
  • Medicare card
  • Pension/concession card
  • Previous results from other clinics where you have had a Bone Density scan for comparison

Wear comfortable loose fitting clothes. Avoid garments that have metal such as zippers, belts or buttons

In most cases, no advance preparation is required. Eat normally and take prescribed medication as usual, unless your doctor or Gympie Radiology staff have given you other instructions.

Please tell us if you are pregnant.

Reasons for Bone Mineral Densitometry

The advantages are that very low radiation doses are involved, no oral or intravenous contrast is required and it is non-invasive.

Bone density testing may be recommended if any of the following are true:

  • If you have experienced a fracture after only mild trauma
  • If you have an overactive thyroid condition
  • Have known osteoporosis
  • Underwent menopause before the age of 45
  • Have had an x-ray with evidence of fracture or other signs of osteoporosis
  • Are a man with clinical conditions associated with bone loss (low testosterone)
  • Use steroid medications that are known to cause bone loss
  • Have chronic liver and renal disease
  • Have Crohn's or Coeliac disease
  • Have rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • Are over 70 years of age
What to expect

On arrival you may be asked to fill out a questionnaire. You may be provided with a gown to wear instead of your own clothes.

In the imaging room, your bone density test will only take 15-20 minutes. You will lie on a padded table as the scanner arm passes over you.

Our equipment utilises the latest radiation reduction techniques and the risks at these exposure levels are thought to be very small and outweighed by the information obtained by performing the scan.

When can you get your results?

The images obtained are digitally recorded. At Gympie Radiology our highly trained and qualified Radiologists interpret the images and provides a report for your doctor and/or referring health care provider within 24 hours, although usually within a couple of hours.

You will be able to take your results on the day or collect them at a time that is convenient for you. You may need to make a follow up appointment to discuss the results with your referring practitioner.

We invite you to ask any additional questions you may have before or after your examination.