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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bone Densitometry?
This is a method to measure the density of your bones to estimate the strength of bones and the likelihood of bone fractures with only minimal or no trauma. If the bone density is very low, the condition is called osteoporosis and causes a very high risk of fracturing the bones. The "gold standard" method is called "Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry" - DEXA. This uses a very weak form of X-ray to scan your bones and uses a computer to convert this information to numbers.
Preparation: No preparation is needed. However we need previous bone density measurement, if any, to compare.

What are the indications for bone density measurement?
All women aged 65 and older.
Postmenopausal women under age 65 who have risk factors for osteoporosis such as family hitory, personal history of fractures and weight less than 127 pounds.
All men aged 70 and older.
Anyone with fragility fractures.
Women who are considering therapy for osteoporosis, if BMD will help in the decision.
Women who have been on hormone replacement therapy for prolonged periods.
Anyone with a condition or medication associated with osteoporosis.
Individuals recieving glucocorticoid therapy.
Individuals with hyperparathyroidism.
When determined to be medically necessary by a physician.

What is T-score?
T-score is the number of standard deviations the patient's BMD is above or below the average BMD of young adult reference population.
T-score = (BMDpatient-BMDyoung-normal-reference)/SDyoung-normal-reference
T-scores are used for the diagnosis of normal BMD, osteopenia or osteoporosis


What is the WHO criteria?
World Health Organization (WHO) Criteria for the diagnosis of Osteoporosis
WHO Technical Report Series. Geneva: WHO, 1994

Normal Bone density no lower than 1 SD below the mean for young-adult women (T-score greater than or equal to -1)
Osteopenia Bone density between 1 and 2.5 SD below the mean for young-adult women (T-score greater than -2.5 and less than -1)
Osteoporosis Bone density at least 2.5 SD below the mean for young-adult women without fractures (T-score less than or equal to -2.5 )
Established Osteoporosis Bone density at least 2.5 SD below the mean for young-adult women with history of fragility fracture (T-score less than or equal to -2.5 )

 
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