The use of low dose x-rays to measure the density of bone, usually used for the diagnosis of osteoporosis.

How the test is performed

You are positioned on a DEXA table and a moving camera on a rail moves over the hip and lumbar spine.
The medical imaging technologist will then record the results of the study on a computer positioned next to the bed. The study takes approximately 5 minutes.

How to prepare for the test

No preparation is required. The study should not be performed if you have had a barium meal or enema in the past 72 hours.

You will need to tell the staff whether you are on treatment for osteoporosis.

How the test will feel

You will not feel any discomfort from this study.

What the risks are

The radiation dose from DEXA is a fraction of the dose of standard x-ray examination and therefore not thought to be of any significant risk to patients.