Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA/DXA scan)
A DEXA/DXA scan is a type of medical imaging test that utilises two x-ray beams with a different energy to accurately measure the bone density at specific locations in the body, without the influence of the surrounding soft tissues absorbing the X-ray. DEXA scan is currently the most common method used for diagnosing osteoporosis. The scan is quick, safe and requires a low radiation dose. The patient can simply lay comfortably on the patient table and the procedure can be completed within 10 minutes.
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. DEXA scan is currently the most effective method to diagnose osteoporosis or bone deficiency and prevent future fractures.
What is the “T-score” in a bone density check?
A DEXA scan is a type of medical imaging test that utilises two x-ray beams with a different energy to scan a specific location or the whole body with a tiny amount of x-ray. It focuses on the examination of the lumbar vertebrae and the femur to measure bone density and loss of bone mass.
The T-score represents your bone mineral density. A 0 in T-score represents a normal, healthy bone density of a normal person. A negative T-score indicates low bone density. The more negative the T-score, the more severe the osteoporosis and the higher the risk of future fracture.
Bone Density Scan (DEXA/ DXA)
DEXA scan is currently the most common method used for diagnosing osteoporosis. It is quick, anaesthesia-free, non-invasive, safe and reliable, and is the most commonly used method for measuring bone density. The patient can simply lay comfortably on the patient table and the procedure can be completed within 15 minutes.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a metabolic disease of the bone which leads to a reduction in bone density as we age. The density of the affected bones becomes lower and the bones become more fragile, and are therefore more likely to break, resulting in fractures.
In addition to ageing, there are also certain risk factors that contribute to the development of osteoporosis. These factors include excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, inadequate exercise, prolonged immobility (e.g. after a stroke), malnutrition, calcium deficiency, or chronic drug usage (e.g. steroids,chemotherapy drugs, anticonvulsants).
Osteoporosis diagnosis can be done quickly and simply by using a DEXA scan to determine the density of the bone, it is also the most commonly used method to diagnose osteoporosis. The scan is quick, safe and requires a low radiation dose. The patient can simply lay comfortably on the patient table and the procedure can be completed within 15 minutes. This allows us to take preventive measures toward osteoporosis.
Points to Note
- Avoid taking calcium supplements 24 hours prior to the scan.
- Please inform our medical staff if you have had a barium meal/ CT scan/ MRI scan/ radionuclide and molecular imaging in the past 2 weeks.
- Please inform our medical staff if you are/suspect that you are pregnant.
DEXA/DXA service is available in the following centre:
Langham Place Flagship Centre
(EC Specialists Premium PHF No.: DP000104)
L12, Langham Place Office Tower, 8 Argyle Street, Mong Kok (Mong Kok station Exit E1)
DEXA/DXA scan Q&A
Regular bone density test is recommended for people who are at high risk of developing osteoporosis, including menopausal women or are over 50 years old, men over 50 years old, people with a family medical history of osteoporosis, people with hyperthyroidism/ hyperparathyroidism, people with rheumatoid arthritis, people on long-term steroid medication, people with inadequate exercise, people with inadequate calcium/ vitamin D, and people with chronic alcohol/ tobacco dependence.
Annual check-ups are recommended to prevent osteoporosis.
Regular bone density tests can help to manage the current state of bone health, detecting and preventing risks of osteoporosis and fracture at an early stage.
Please inform our staff before the examination if you are pregnant or in doubt of pregnancy.
There are many factors that contribute to osteoporosis. Calcium intake can help prevent osteoporosis. Having proper exercise, a balanced diet and adequate exposure to the sun can help your body absorb calcium and prevent calcium loss.