Bone Densitometry (DEXA)

Bone Densitometry (DEXA) is currently the most widely used method for measuring the structural integrity of bones. A DEXA scan documents small changes in your bone mass and is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause but may also be found in men.

The evaluation of bone health has become an essential component of your personal wellness.

Don't let osteoporosis sneak into your bones. Let the Imaging Center of Idaho do your Bone Density study to stay ahead of this weakening process.

How does DEXA work?

During your exam you will remain fully clothed. You will be asked to lie, face up, on a comfortably padded table.

For the test to be accurate, you will need to remain as still as possible during the exam, but will be able to breathe normally. Scanning the spine and femur, sites where fractures occur most often, is considered the standard examination for assessment of osteoporosis. You will not feel anything during the exam as the scanner passes over your lower spine, hip or forearm. The entire test takes only a few minutes to complete. It is a non-invasive procedure that is painless and requires no injections.

**Max weight for DEXA table is 350lbs. If weight is exceeded then the forearm is scanned.**

Who interprets the results?

Who interprets the results?

A radiologist specifically trained to interpret radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report to your primary care or referring physician. Your doctor will discuss the results of the DEXA test with you.


Eat normally on the day of the exam, but avoid calcium supplements for at least 24 hours beforehand. If possible, avoid wearing clothing with metal items (buttons, zippers, etc.).

Please inform your physician if you recently had a barium study, a radioisotope injection, or oral/intravenous contrast material (such as for an MRI or CT scan). These contrast materials will interfere with the DEXA examination. You may have to wait 10 to 14 days before undergoing your exam. Women should always inform their physician and DEXA Technician, if there is a possibility they are pregnant.

Common Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

  • Being female
  • Thin and / or small frame
  • Advanced age
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Postmenopausal, including early or surgically induced menopause
  • Abnormal absence of menstrual periods
  • Eating disorders
  • A diet low in calcium
  • Use of certain medications, such a steroids
  • Low testosterone in men
  • Inactive life-style
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive use of alcohol