Bone Density - Types of Tests

Types of Tests

While there are many different types of BMD tests, all are non-invasive. Most tests differ in which bones are measured to determine the BMD result.

These tests include:

  • Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA)
  • Quantitative computed tomography (QCT)
  • Qualitative ultrasound (QUS)
  • Single photon absorptiometry (SPA)
  • Dual photon absorptiometry (DPA)
  • Digital X-ray radiogrammetry (DXR)
  • Single energy X-ray absorptiometry (SEXA)

DEXA is currently the most widely used, but ultrasound has been described as a more cost-effective approach to measure bone density.

The test works by measuring a specific bone or bones, usually the spine, hip, and wrist. The density of these bones is then compared with an average index based on age, sex, and size. The resulting comparison is used to determine risk for fractures and the stage of osteoporosis in an individual.

Average bone mineral density = BMC / W

  • BMC = bone mineral content = g/cm
  • W = width at the scanned line

Read more about this topic:  Bone Density

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