Orthopaedics

DEXA Bone Density Scan – Advantages and Disadvantages of DEXA Scan

DEXA

is a diagnostic procedure to measure bone mineral density. DEXA stands for

Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry.

The technique is based on the principle of absorption of energy levels of soft tissues and bones. The difference of absorption of soft-tissue is taken off from the absorption component of the bone. This difference is used to interpret the condition of the bone.

This technique is mostly used to diagnose

osteoporosis,

a condition in which there is decreased levels of bone mineral in the bones. It is also used to see the possibility or risk of breaking bones before it eventually happens. Let us know a few advantages and disadvantages connected to DEXA Scan.

Advantages of DEXA Scan:

  • DEXA scan is the

    most accurate

    and valuable method available for the diagnosis of osteoporosis and other such conditions.

  • It is one of the best methods to estimate the risk of fracture.
  • DEXA Bone scan is a

    non-invasive procedure

    of bone scan which has all advantages of a procedure being non-invasive.

  • It is a simple and quick process.
  • There is no need of anesthesia in the procedure
  • The amount of radiation used is small – less than a day’s exposure to natural radiation, less than one-tenth of the dose of chest x-ray radiation.
  • Practically no radiation remains in the patient’s body after the procedure.
  • X-rays of this dose usually do not have much side effects.
  • DEXA equipment is widely available bone densitometry test available for the diagnosis of bone density abnormalities.

Disadvantages of DEXA Scan:

  • Wherever there is radiation, there is always a chance of danger of cancer related to that. Any accidental exposure of radiation can cause drastic implications. However, if this is carefully done the advantages of DEXA outweighs its risk.
  • Women who are pregnant are advised not to go for the procedure as it can harm the fetus. It is better to check with x-ray technologist who can analyze the situation better.

You can get more information about the principle, utilities of DEXA in related articles in the site.

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