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Bone Densitometry or Bone Densitometry scan
Alt names: DEXA-scan, QDR-scan or BMD (bone mineral density) measurement
A bone densitometry scan is a special type of X-ray test used to measure the calcium content of the bone, usually in the lumbar region (the lower back) and the hips. It can can identify osteoporosis (when bones become less dense, lose strength and break more easily due to calcium loss) or osteopenia, a milder form of bone loss. There are a range of different procedures that can measure bone density.
In gynaecology, it is prescribed for women who have had a previous fracture or who are post-menopausal and concerned about osteoporosis.
X-Ray & Bone densitometry
A bone densitometry scan measures the calcium content in the bones, which cannot be evaluated in an ordinary X-ray. Although an X-ray may appear to show that the bones have a low calcium content, the information is unreliable, so someone with osteoporosis may have perfectly normal X-rays. An X-ray is far more reliable when it comes to detecting a recent bone fracture.