Bone Densitometry is a fast, safe and painless test that uses advanced technology called DEXA (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) to measure symptoms of osteoporosis -- such as low density and mineral content of bone -- that may have developed unnoticed over many years. Because osteoporosis can result in bone fractures that can cause chronic pain, disability and loss of independence, it is important to begin treating osteoporosis at an early stage. Bone densitometry can detect the early signs of osteoporosis so that patients can begin treating it before a debilitating fracture occurs.
What to expect
A technologist will assist you onto a padded table and position you. The DEXA unit will scan one or more areas of your body, usually the spine or hip because they are particularly prone to fracturing.
When the exam is complete, your images are sent to a computer and analyzed. They are then given to a radiologist, a physician who specializes in the diagnostic interpretation of medical images. After your study has been reviewed, your personal physician will receive a report of the findings. This report will include your bone mineral density (BMD), along with your FRAX results. These numbers are a ten-year probability of hip fracture and ten-year probability of a major osteoporotic fracture (spine, forearm, hip or shoulder fracture).
DXA Body Composition Analysis
DXA Body Composition Analysis precisely measures the amount of fat, lean muscle and bone in your body, giving you and your health care professional, or trainer, a more complete picture of your health. It’s fast, painless, noninvasive and safe.
How does DXA work?
DXA is an advanced, X-ray-based imaging exam that uses a very low radiation dose – so low that the technologist stays at the console right next to you during the exam. The results are highly accurate and presented in both graphic and numeric formats. We also compare your result to a very large database of individuals so you can see how your results compare to people of the same age and sex.
The importance of knowing your Fat Mass Index (FMI)
Knowing your weight and body mass index (BMI) doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story about your proportion of body fat and your risks for problems like heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. A DXA Body Composition Analysis also estimates the amount of “visceral fat,” or fat inside your abdominal cavity, which is a factor for disease risk. Unlike BMI, which uses your total weight (fat, muscle and bone mass combined), Princeton Radiology goes further to calculate a Fat Mass Index (FMI), a more meaningful index that takes into account your body fat percentage in relation to your height. DXA’s ability to measure the body’s bone content also makes the analysis more precise.
Who Needs DXA Body Composition Analysis?
Physicians and clinicians use DXA Body Composition Analysis to help assess and manage obesity. It’s also helpful in assessing age-related muscle loss, neuromuscular changes, and growth disorders. Knowing your FMI can help your clinician plan and monitor interventions for excessive body fat, and track the progress of physical training regimens.
DXA Body Composition Analysis may also benefit people who are:
What will the exam be like?
The DXA scan is fast and easy. The exam takes only 3 to 5 minutes, and in most cases, no special preparation is necessary.
You can obtain this highly accurate information about your body composition from our board-certified radiologists for a surprisingly low fee. Currently, this procedure is not covered by any insurance plans.