A Brief Description of the Bone Density Tests

The bone density is a medical term that means the amount of matter per square centimeter of bones. The average bone density is the 1500 Kg per negative cubic meter. The instrument that is used to measure the bone density is called densitometry. The loss of bone density can lead to many diseases among which the most common one is the osteoporosis. In order to cure the diseases that might occur due to the loss in bone density, there are several bone density tests that are performed by the physicians.

Some of these tests are:

  • Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA)
  • Quantitative computed tomography  (QCT)
  • Dual Photon Absorptiometry (DPA)
  • Single Photon Absorptiometry (SPA)
  • Digital X-ray Radiogrammetry (DXR)
  • Qualitative Ultrasound (QUS)
  • Single Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (SEXA)

Among all these tests the bone density test of DEXA is the most commonly performed test. In this test the specific bone or bones usually in the hip, spine and wrist are measured and then the density of these bones is compared with an average index that is based on the sex, age as well as the size. The results of the comparison are then used to determine the stage of the osteoporosis in the patient. The result can also be used to measure the risk for fractures in an individual.

The formula used in this bone density test is:

Average bone mineral density= BMC/ W g/square cm

Here BMC= Bone mineral content= g/cm and W= width at the scanned line


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