Bone densitometry: indications and examination procedure
The bone densitometry, by evaluating the volume of calcium present in the bones, will make it possible to look for a possible demineralization. A calcium deficiency means that the bones are more fragile and therefore maximizes the risk of fracture. The result of the examination is therefore a good indicator of skeletal resistance.
Why prescribe bone densitometry?
The examination is usually prescribed by a rheumatologist but can also be recommended by a general practitioner or even a gynecologist as part of a management related to menopause. Bone densitometry is recommended in several cases:
Osteodensitometry: how does it work?
Bone densitometry will measure how the density of the bones reduces or not the force of the X-rays that will cross it. If the bone is dense, the radius will be very attenuated. Conversely, if the bone is more fragile, the beam will be less attenuated. The device, the densitometer, will take these measurements at the femur, hip and spine and give a result that is called T-score and will determine the stage of mineralization.
A T-score less than or equal to -1 is considered normal, a T-score between -1 and 2.5 means that there is osteopenia, and therefore a drop in density. Finally, a result below -2.5 points to a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Depending on the result, the doctor generally prescribe other examinations to refine the diagnosis: blood and urine tests but also radio of the spine.
Bone densitometry: the course of the examination
Bone densitometry is a classic radiological examination that can be performed in a radiologist in the city. The patient sits on a table above which is the x-ray machine that will move according to the examination. The patient must remain motionless to ensure the stability and accuracy of images but the examination is very short.
Unlike MRI or CT, it is not necessary to inject a contrast medium. Bone densitometry does not expose to any particular risk, the radiation is minimal, and is absolutely not painful. The radiologist usually delivers an initial assessment immediately after the examination.
Read also :
⋙ MRI: indications and examination procedure
⋙ Scanner: how to prepare for it and how the exam is going
⋙ Menopause: hormone therapy also protects against osteoarthritis!