DEXA (or DXA) is a medical scanning technology originally developed to measure bone density. It passes a very low dose of dual-energy X-rays through the body to provide a high resolution image and precise measurement of bone density. It is the gold standard for body mineral densitometry for diagnosis osteoporosis and osteopenia.
For Monitoring Bone Health
DEXA scans can also be used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause but may also be found in men. Osteoporosis involves a gradual loss of calcium, as well as structural changes, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to break.
The procedure is also effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss.
A DEXA scan is quick, painless and non-invasive. You will be instructed to lie flat on a padded table, staying very still, while the scanning arm passes above you. You remain fully clothed, preferably underwear, shorts and t-shirt or similar though you may be asked to remove heavy clothing, shoes, jewellery and metal objects. The scan only takes a few minutes but the whole process may take up to 15 minutes.