What is a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) T-score and how is it defined?

Updated: Jan 20, 2021
  • Author: Rachel Elizabeth Whitaker Elam, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
  • Print

DXA provides the patient’s T-score, which is the BMD value compared with that of control subjects who are at their peak BMD. [7, 8, 9, 10] World Health Organization (WHO) criteria define a normal T-score value as within 1 standard deviation (SD) of the mean BMD value in a healthy young adult. Values lying farther from the mean are stratified as follows [9] :

  • T-score of –1 to –2.5 SD indicates osteopenia
  • T-score of less than –2.5 SD indicates osteoporosis
  • T-score of less than –2.5 SD with fragility fracture(s) indicates severe osteoporosis

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!