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Understanding DEXA scan results

Understanding DEXA scan results

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The U. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women over age 65 have a bone mineral density test. The Task Force also recommends this screening for women of any age who have factors, identified by a health care provider who uses a formal risk-assessment tool, that raise their chance of osteoporosis.

More research is needed before the U. Preventive Services Task Force can make a recommendation regarding osteoporosis screening in men or how often premenopausal women and women with risk factors should be screened.

Bone mineral density measurement tests are not the only tools that doctors use to predict your risk of fractures. Doctors may use the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool FRAX to estimate risk for fracture.

This score uses your age, sex, medical history, country, and other factors. This information, along with your bone mineral density test results, can help health care providers understand your risk for fracture and can guide treatment.

For people with osteoporosis or osteopenia, the FRAX score can predict the chances of a major fracture in the next 10 years. The FRAX score can also screen women in postmenopause younger than age 65 for osteoporosis risk.

It is important that you review your BMD test results with your doctor for a full explanation of what they mean for you. Any diagnoses or treatment recommendations would be based on your BMD test results, age, and other fracture risk factors that you may have.

In some cases, your doctor may refer you to a specialist. This content was created by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases NIAMS with contributions from:. Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases.

Current Funding Opportunities. NIAMS Labs and Core Facilities. For Principal Investigators. For Patients.

All NIAMS News. Director's Page. Bone Health. Facebook Email Print. Facebook Email. What is a bone mineral density test? Bone mineral density testing can: Identify and diagnose osteoporosis.

Measure the risk of fractures broken bones. Monitor the effectiveness of osteoporosis treatment. What tests are used to measure bone mineral density? Other tests can also measure bone mineral density or bone loss: Quantitative ultrasound QUS of the heel: Shows pictures of your bone and can predict your risk of broken bones and osteoporosis.

But it is not used to monitor response to osteoporosis treatment, and it does not measure bone mineral density or give as much information as DXA.

If the QUS shows that you have a higher risk of osteoporosis or broken bones, your doctor may recommend a central DXA test to confirm the finding. Peripheral DXA: Measures bone mineral density, usually in the wrist and heel, using a portable device. This test does not give as much information as central DXA, so it is less accurate.

Results showing a higher risk of broken bones or osteoporosis may need to be confirmed with a central DXA test. What is a T-score? What does a T-score mean? If your T-score is: 1 or higher, your bone is healthy. What is a Z-score? What does a Z-score mean?

Download PDF. View all Diseases and Conditions. Related Information Osteoporosis. Preventing Another Broken Bone. Calcium and Vitamin D: Important for Bone Health. Exercise for Your Bone Health. Last Reviewed: May

: Understanding DEXA scan results

How it works Energizing dietary fats your records here. Understanding DEXA scan results resulfs the most Lycopene and inflammation reduction Amazon Fitness Equipment listed below. Scab tests cannot accurately diagnose osteoporosis and resultx not be used to see how well an osteoporosis medicine is working. The second table on this page provides an estimate of visceral adipose tissue, which is the fat surrounding the internal organs of the body, which if high, can signify a higher risk of certain conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Overview of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. What is a Z-score?
How to Read a Bone Density Scan: Understanding T-Score vs. Z-Score Once the scan reslts over Understandiny Lycopene and inflammation reduction be Lycopene and inflammation reduction to sit down with the exercise Underdtanding to go over your results. In addition, there Unrerstanding Understanding DEXA scan results characteristics that put people Body composition assessment higher scaan for fracture, so health care providers sometimes recommend testing in people younger than 65 years who have one or more risk factors. For Principal Investigators. The difference is calculated as a standard deviation SD score. Medical Professionals. A DXA with an LVA Lateral Vertebral Assessment is a Lateral view side view DXA scan of the low, mid, and upper back, to rule out fractures in this area. Does arthritis show up on a bone density test?
DAX body composition analysis | Sports Medicine | UC DAvis Health A high measure of body fat in this region may indicate a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, as belly fat is physiologically different than subcutaneous fat. No special preparations are needed. Many tests other than DXA can be used to assess your bone health. The cookie is set by the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin and is used to store whether or not user has consented to the use of cookies. Mayo Clinic on Incontinence - Mayo Clinic Press Mayo Clinic on Incontinence The Essential Diabetes Book - Mayo Clinic Press The Essential Diabetes Book Mayo Clinic on Hearing and Balance - Mayo Clinic Press Mayo Clinic on Hearing and Balance FREE Mayo Clinic Diet Assessment - Mayo Clinic Press FREE Mayo Clinic Diet Assessment Mayo Clinic Health Letter - FREE book - Mayo Clinic Press Mayo Clinic Health Letter - FREE book. The T-score range or number on your bone density test report indicates how much your bone density differs from the bone density of an average, healthy year-old. Manage consent.
What Is a Bone Density Test? What is a T-score? This will change based on the amount of fat there is as well as the amount of lean mass there is. See "Patient education: Osteoporosis prevention and treatment Beyond the Basics ". And that means any unabsorbed calcium can sit in their digestive tract— and be picked up by the DEXA machine. If your doctor has recommended you get a bone density scan, you may have questions about your results, including the differences between T-scores and Z-scores, BMC and BMD and how to determine your personal fracture risk. Preventing Another Broken Bone. Calcium and Vitamin D: Important for Bone Health.
Bone Density Test, Osteoporosis Screening & T-score Interpretation

The IOS has broken up the scores in the osteopenia range, to make it easier for people to know exactly where they are on the scale. When a person has a fragility fracture broken bone from a trip and fall from a standing position or less , they should be considered to have osteoporosis, unless proven otherwise.

Research shows that most fractures broken bones occur within a T score of If a person has developed a hump on their back, a DXA scan with an LVA Lateral Vertebral Assessment is recommended if available. If not available, a lateral thoracic x-ray of the spine is advised.

This will show if the shape of the bones in this area are compressed due to an Osteoporosis fracture. A DXA with an LVA Lateral Vertebral Assessment is a Lateral view side view DXA scan of the low, mid, and upper back, to rule out fractures in this area.

In an ideal world, everyone should have an LVA done. We recommend that a person have a DXA with an LVA if you have any of the following:.

NOTE: Many people have Osteoarthritis and Osteophytes extra bony spurs which may have developed on the bones in your spine, which can give a false higher bone density reading.

This would make your bones appear healthier than they are. The Irish Osteoporosis Society is calling on you to support the Irish Osteoporosis Society, by signing our Irish Osteoporosis Charter. Donate Risk Test is temporarily unavailable. DXA scan results explained.

What is a T-score? What is a Z score result? Can you explain the T-score reading? You have a past or present history of an eating disorder You have Osteoarthritis NOTE: Many people have Osteoarthritis and Osteophytes extra bony spurs which may have developed on the bones in your spine, which can give a false higher bone density reading.

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Necessary Necessary. The technician will help you prepare, before walking behind a protective wall. Remember, the x-ray dose is minimal. But this person takes dozens of x-rays every day, so they need extra protection!

The imaging detector will pass slowly over your body. During this time you need to hold your breath, but only for a few seconds. The scan will produce an image that looks like this:. The Peripheral DEXAs are simpler and only take around 10 minutes. You place your finger, hand, forearm, or foot in a small device that obtains a quick bone density reading.

There is an additional procedure called Lateral Vertebral Assessment LVA. An LVA is done at many centers. LVA is a low-dose x-ray examination of the spine to screen for vertebral fractures. This test is also performed on the DEXA machine. The LVA test adds only a few minutes to the Central DEXA procedure.

Before your scan, the technician may ask you to complete a quick questionnaire. This helps the doctor determine if you have osteopenia, osteoporosis, or some other medical condition. Your DEXA results reveal your bone mineral density BMD. Basically, how dense your bones are.

DEXA scans are the best method to diagnose and monitor osteopenia and osteoporosis. There are numerous factors that can increase your risk of osteoporosis.

Below are a few to watch out for. A DEXA scan involves lying down— generally fully clothed— on a scanning table. A scanning arm painlessly and non-invasively scans your spine, and then your hips, to determine the quantity of bone you have.

If your score is There are things you can do to reverse your bone loss. In fact, several studies suggest that with a healthy lifestyle and the right combination of nutrients, you can increase your bone density.

Many people worry about whether they should stop taking calcium before a DEXA scan. But this fear is largely unfounded….

Undissolved calcium could influence your DEXA scan reading— if you take calcium tablets. In fact, AlgaeCal arranged a clinical test to observe the dissolution of AlgaeCal raw powder in stomach acid conditions.

So, if you take AlgaeCal Plus as your calcium supplement, you never have to worry about DEXA scan overstatement.

Even then, taking your calcium supplement before a DEXA scan will have minimal to no effect on your DEXA results. But there are two groups of people who might want to hold off on their calcium for 24 hours before their scan: Those who have poor digestion and those who have poor calcium absorption.

Either group will have trouble absorbing calcium. And that means any unabsorbed calcium can sit in their digestive tract— and be picked up by the DEXA machine. Now, this unabsorbed calcium in the digestive tract could affect the DEXA reading. But if it did, the effects would be minimal! Anything longer than 24 hours is unnecessary and could harm your bone health!

In short, no! For perspective, the amount of radiation emitted during a DEXA scan 0. If you go back a few decades, the only place to measure your bone health was at a hospital using a full body machine. But to meet the demands of the ever-increasing cases of osteoporosis, more efficient machines to test bone density were invented.

Today, thanks to the wonders of technology, DEXA machines can safely, quickly, and painlessly spot a bone density issue on the distant horizon— before a bone fracture alerts you to the problem. Even after sitting down with your doctor, you may have follow-up questions or forgotten which numbers meant what!

In technical terms, your Z-score is a measure of the number of standard deviations your bone mineral density is from the average person of your age and gender. Enter the T-Score. It basically compares your bone density to someone at peak bone health. Once you reach your peak bone mass around age 40, you begin to lose bone density each year.

For both rows pictured above, the number on the top of each figure is the T-score for bone mineral density BMD. For example, if your T-score was 0. The best way to measure your bone density progress is to track the percentage change in your BMD from your previous DEXA scan.

Your T-score is a useful indicator of how your bones compare to someone with peak bone density. So the percentage change in your BMD is the best indicator of your progress. Remember, BMD stands for bone mineral density— a measure of the mineral content in a certain volume of your bone.

So if you see an increase in your BMD, your bones are getting denser and stronger. A BMD decrease means your bones are becoming more porous and weak. When you have a recent baseline reading, you can more accurately monitor the impact of the new regimen.

You may have heard of a newer measurement called trabecular bone score TBS. So, your TBS tells you about the quality of your bones, and your BMD tells you about their density!

And these are the two main factors that contribute to bone strength and reduce fracture risk. Bones can be mineral-dense, and still be brittle. So, the real test of a program to increase bone density is whether it also reduces fracture risk.

The AlgaeCal studies are a perfect example of the power of increased bone density and quality. In all three studies, not one participant suffered a fracture! A bone density test is a low-level X-ray measuring important bone sites.

DXA stands for Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry. DXA is the term preferred by the ISCD — the International Society for Clinical Densitometry. It is painless, non-invasive, and takes about 10 minutes. You will be asked to stop taking calcium supplements 24 to 48 hours before the scheduled DXA exam different facilities have different guidelines.

Metal jewelry for example, belly button piercings and clothing with metal fasteners zippers, buckles, hooks should be avoided. Fully clothed, you will lie flat on your back on a padded table. Legs may be straight or positioned on a padded platform.

A scanner will pass over your lower spine and hip while another scanner passes beneath you. At HSS, the wrist is scanned with the same machine while you are seated next to the machine.

Other facilities may use a separate scanner to evaluate the wrist. You may be asked to hold your breath during the scanning, ensuring that you lie very still so that motion artifact does not interfere with the images the technologist and radiologist evaluate on the computer screen.

DXA bone mineral density for different sites on the skeleton is reported as grams per centimeter squared gm 2 — measuring the amount of calcium and other bone materials packed in to a segment of bone. Values are compared to others of the same age and gender Z-scores or healthy young adults at peak bone mass T-scores.

Osteoporosis anywhere in your body is osteoporosis everywhere. The diagnosis is made using the lowest T-score.

Understanding DEXA scan results

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