What is the role of dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in the workup of osteoporosis?

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

DXA is used to calculate BMD at the lumbar spine, hip, and proximal femur (see the images below). Densitometric spine imaging can be performed at the time of DXA scanning to detect vertebral fractures. Not all DXA machines are capable of performing vertebral fracture assessment (VFA), but when available, VFA should be considered if the results may influence clinical management of the patient. [126]

Example of a dual energy x-ray absorption (DXA) scan. This image is of the left hip bone. Source: Government of Western Australia Department of Health.

Example of a dual energy x-ray absorption (DXA) sc Example of a dual energy x-ray absorption (DXA) scan. This image is of the left hip bone. Source: Government of Western Australia Department of Health.

Example of a dual energy x-ray absorption (DXA) scan. This image is of the lumbar spine. Source: Government of Western Australia Department of Health.

Example of a dual energy x-ray absorption (DXA) sc Example of a dual energy x-ray absorption (DXA) scan. This image is of the lumbar spine. Source: Government of Western Australia Department of Health.

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