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X-ray osteodensitometry

X-ray osteodensitometry - is the most common way to determine bone mineral density (BMD), which is a special x-ray of bones (the English name for the method of dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry - DXA).

It is a painless, non-invasive procedure that helps doctors diagnose many diseases, as a decrease in bone mineral density can be a symptom of many different diseases.


Osteodensitometry most often used to diagnose osteoporosis - a condition which is typical for women after 50 years. In osteoporosis under the influence of the changed hormonal levels there is a gradual loss of calcium, there are structural changes and weakening of the bones. Women in this age have an increased risk of fractures.


This risk depends on many factors:


the presence of fractures in the past

body mass index

Family history of osteoporosis

lifestyle, smoking and alcoholism.

All these factors are taken into account when assessing a physician individual risk.

To see the changes in bone mineral density, need to undergo regular screening every 2 years. This is especially true of people with risk factors listed above.


Measurement of bone mineral density is recommended to groups of patients:

Postmenopausal women, not taking estrogens.

Women after menopause, whose growth exceeds 175 cm or weight reaches 56 kg.

Women who have had cases of femoral neck fractures in the family history.

Men with diseases that contribute to the reduction of bone density.

Patients on corticosteroids (prednisolone), anticonvulsants, barbiturate, thyroid hormones and other substances that can reduce BMD.

Patients with type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent form).

Patients with diseases of the liver and kidneys.

Patients with a family history of osteoporosis.

Patients with hyperparathyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Patients who originated the fracture after a minor injury.

Patients with radiographic evidence of vertebral fracture or other signs of osteoporosis.

Children osteodensitometry used since the age of four and is used to determine the dynamics of a set of bone mass, as well as in children with the survey program endocrine pathology.

In addition to the measurement of bone mineral density osteodensitometry fabric allows to determine the bone mineral content in individual parts of the body (torso, head, arm, etc.), and all over the body.

The device is equipped with an automatic program evaluation of the lumbar spine, proximal femur, forearm and total body. Osteodensitometry adjusted for special phantoms, and the values ​​of bone mineral density indexes already calculated with respect to it.

The program laid down standard indicators by gender and age. The study findings are compared with them, and is calculated from the deviation of the statistical indicators. Determined with mathematical precision the likelihood of fractures.


Preparation for the procedure:

On the day of the inspection, you can eat and drink the liquid without any restrictions. You should not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before the procedure.

You will need to wear loose, comfortable clothing without zippers, metal buttons or buckles. The keys, lighter, wallet, and other similar items should not be placed in the scanning field.

You may be asked to remove some clothing and wear a hospital gown during the exam. You will also be asked to remove jewelry that may interfere with the study.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have recently completed the study with barium, radioisotope scanning or computerized tomography with contrast agent administration. Perhaps you can recommend to wait 10-14 days before undergoing osteodensitometry.

Women must alert the radiologist that they suspect pregnancy. Many radiological procedures are subjected to the fetus to dangerous radiation that can lead to anomalies, especially in the early stages. If the X-rays is vital to the woman, the doctors will take all precautions to minimize the impact of radiation on the fetus.

The essence of osteodensitometry process.


During osteodensitometry investigated body part is irradiated with a minimal dose of X-rays to obtain an image of bone tissue that is processed by the computer (receiving bone image and calculates the density of the actual bone).

osteodensitometry procedure takes from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the equipment used and the specific scanning parcels.

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