Bone Mineral Densitometry

“1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men over 60 years of age will have an osteoporotic fracture in Australia.”

“Every 5-6 minutes, someone is admitted to an Australian hospital with an osteoporotic fracture. This is expected to rise to every 3 - 4 minutes by the year 2021, as the population ages and the number of osteoporotic fractures increase.”
8 September 2010

DEXA (Dual-emission X-ray absorptiometry) is used to measure bone mineral density (BMD). The technique uses very low dose x-rays and is a safe and painless procedure. DXA scans can also be used to measure total body composition and fat content with a high degree of accuracy comparable to hydrostatic weighing with a few important caveats. DEXA is most often performed on the lower spine and hips and is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis.

The entire procedure lasts approximately 20 minutes. Low bone density or osteoporosis is a major determinant of fracture risk and is common, particularly in women following menopause. Loss of bone density may also be accelerated in conditions affecting the liver and thyroid gland and by certain medications, in particular, steroids. Measurement of the spine and hip is routinely performed and measurement of the forearm may also be undertaken if required.

In June 2009, St Vincent's Private Radiology installed the GE Lunar Prodigy Pro™ BMD scanner.