Bone density scanning or testing uses new technology to test the density of the bones, specifically the mineral density. This is often referred to as a bone mineral density or BMD test and is used for people at risk for bone loss. The purpose of the scan is to determine the risk of fractures due to weakened bones that have become less dense from a wide variety of causes. Detecting bone density loss can alert doctors and patients for the need of treatment to regain bone density to prevent painful and dangerous fractures.
The BMD test can help detect osteoporosis and monitor treatment of the disease. It can also detect bone mineral loss from a variety of other risk factors. Some of the people at risk for bone mineral loss that may need BMD scanning or testing include:
- Postmenopausal women. Millions of postmenopausal women have osteoporosis and are at risk for serious bone fractures. It is estimated that one out of two Caucasian women will have a bone fracture due to osteoporosis.
- Women with risk factors. Premenopausal women with certain risk factors including those who smoke, drink excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol, have low estrogen levels, have cancer or have a family history of osteoporosis may be at risk for low bone density.
- Take certain medications. There are certain medications and medical treatments that can reduce bone density, such as chemotherapy and heparin.
- Vitamin D deficiency. Anyone who has a vitamin D deficiency may be at risk for low bone density.
- Chronic diseases. Some diseases can cause bone loss, such as arthritis, hyperthyroidism and hepatitis C.
BMD scanning or testing is non-invasive and is the best way to determine the health of the bones. Those with risk factors can benefit from regular testing to help with the prevention of painful and potentially deadly bone fractures.
Posted on behalf of:
Diagnostic Radiology Ultrasound & Breast Center, P.C.
Mount Vernon Medical Center
755 Mount Vernon Highway Northeast #310
Atlanta, GA 30328