Bone Densitometry (DXA)

Bone densitometryDual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is a special
X-ray procedure that determines the strength of bones. Doctors use this test to help prevent fractures.

Other means of assessing bone strength are also available, but DXA is currently the most accurate method and uses the lowest amount of radiation for a pediatric bone scan.

In children, DXA is most often performed on the spine, hips or the entire body. It is a painless, non-invasive procedure – there are no injections or medications involved.

Your child’s doctor may order a DXA scan if your child:

  • Has a recurrent or low trauma fracture.
  • Has chronic inflammatory disease.
  • Has hypogonadism.
  • Is immobilized.
  • Has a  blood disorder.
  • Is on long-term systemic glucocorticoid therapy.
  • Has osteogenesis imperfecta.

The test may also be used to monitor treatment.

To reduce the possibility of a blurred image, your child must hold very still for a few minutes while the X-ray picture is taken. The test lasts 15 minutes.