DEXA (bone density measurement, bone densiometry, osteodensitometry)
Bone densitometry is used to measure bone mineral content. It can be used to determine the risk of osteoporosis and fracture and to monitor the success of the treatment.
In 70-80% of cases, the cause of osteoporosis is genetic, in addition, lack of physical activity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, a diet low in calcium and vitamins, low vitamin D intake, and the existence of certain diseases (e.g. hormonal diseases, diseases of the intestinal system and malabsorption, abnormal thinness, anorexia, chronic kidney and liver failure, thyroid hormone overproduction, asthma) and the long-term use of certain drugs (e.g. steroids, drugs that weaken the immune system, epilepsy drugs).
Based on the recommendation of the International Association of Bone Densitometry ( ISCD ), bone densitometry testing should only be performed in certain groups, as the test will have an influence on the patient's treatment, or support it. These groups are:
- Women from the age of 50 and after, especially in the case of osteoporosis and fractures occurring on the maternal side
- Women younger than 50 with postmenopausal symptoms
- Women with a high family history of the three main fracture types (forearm, vertebra, hip)
- All age groups with a high-risk underlying disease (diseased liver, kidney disease, type I diabetes, malabsorption disorders, bone disease of metabolic origin, thyroid disease, etc.)
- Men from 70 years of age and later, as well as in case of high-risk underlying disease or taking medications that cause osteoporosis
- Adult women with pathological fractures or a clinical background associated with a decrease in bone mass
- After prolonged bed rest or steroid treatment
- DEXA examination cannot be performed on pregnant women!
At our clinic, we do not ask for a referral for the DEXA test, but it is advisable for the referring doctor to describe the history and clinical questions that led to the initiation of the bone densitometry test.
It is not necessary to come to the examination on an empty stomach.
Before starting the examination, the watch, jewelry, and piercing must be removed, and in the case of ladies, the bra as well (a T-shirt or long-sleeved clothing remains). The patient is then given a single-use suit, his weight and height are measured and he fills out a detailed questionnaire (previous bone fractures, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, medications, etc.).
During the examination, the lumbar spine, hips on both sides and, in some cases, the entire body are examined in the supine position, there is no need to turn during the examination. The duration of the measurements is about 15-20 minutes.
It is important for the patient to lie still and breathe evenly.
- Removal of metal objects, except metal prostheses, implants
- If someone had an x-ray/swallow or CT scan with contrast material a few days before the test, the oral contrast material used during the test (not the intravenous one) could potentially still remain in the intestines. This can cause a serious artifact during the measurement and make the test impossible. Therefore, it is advisable to postpone DEXA in such cases. In the case of older patients, this substance is present in the intestinal tract even longer, so it is recommended to wait at least 2-3 weeks.
- It is not possible to compare DEXA findings from a previous institution: since the test was not done on the same machine and institution, we cannot give a comparative assessment in this case.
The procedure cannot be performed during pregnancy, as it can be dangerous for the fetus.
The test involves a low dose of X-rays. This dose corresponds approximately to the so-called natural background radiation found in open space. However, pregnancy is an absolute exclusion.
Patients usually receive the results of the DEXA examination immediately after the measurement. The radiologist's summary will be sent by email in a few days.
Osteoporosis screening is recommended every 3 years in case of no complaints and average risk. For the patient, the clinician may prescribe a repeat DEXA examination for follow-up purposes, for example in the case of measuring the effectiveness of anti-osteoporosis drugs. This can usually be 12-18 months or 2 years, depending on the medications the patient is taking and how much bone mass has decreased.
It is recommended that the patient go back to the place where the previous (baseline) examination took place, because in this way the data measured at the time and the new one can be compared, the changes can be evaluated, and the type of treatment can be changed or stopped.
Whole body tissue composition examination
It is important to know that in the case of a full-body examination, we do not receive information about the density of the bones, but about the distribution of fat tissue and connective tissue.
The special indications for total body composition measurement are as follows: in the case of HIV-positive patients, in overweight patients who are scheduled to undergo surgical removal of adipose tissue, and in patients with muscle weakness and poor physical functions, the measurement of total body tissue composition is clinically recommended.
Bone density measurement (osteodensitometry, DEXA) - per body region14 100 Ft
Full body tissue composition measurement (osteodensitometry, DEXA) - only with medical referral21 700 Ft