Advanced Scanning Technology Eases the Measurement of Lumber Spine Bone Density

Bone density test is helpful for the diagnosis of osteoporosis. The test can be performed on almost all types of bones. Lumber vertebrae are the largest segments of the movable pat of the vertebral column. They are characterized by the absence of the foremen transversarium within the transverse process. They are designed as L1 to L5, starting at the top. Performing timely lumber (spine) bone density test can reduce the bone breakage risk and give the exact ides of the state of the patient’s bones. With the passing of age, the bones simply get thinner and lose their normal density; this situation is called Osteopenia. It happens due to loss of calcium and such bone minerals.

There are basically two types of energy X-ray absorptiometry tests such as dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and single energy x-ray absorptiometry (SEXA). DEXA provides the most accurate test for bone mineral density measurement risk of osteoporosis and this method can measure as little as a 3% loss of bone density. During this test, the stronger bone allows fewer x-ray beams to pass through, and less dense bones permit more and of the x-ray beams to pass through. The same process is also applied for the spine (lumbar) bone density test. On the other hand peripheral dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (pDEXA) is used to measure bone density in the arms, legs and wrists.    

The Central DXA examination can measure bone density in the hip and spine. An X-ray generator is located below the patient and an imaging device is positioned above. A typical bone density exam involves the scanning of the lumbar spine and one hip, usually the left, sometimes both. The quantitative computed tomography (QCT) is a form of CT scan that measures the bone density in the spine. These tests are conducted with a general CT machine, which rotate around the patient to generate 3D images of the spine. Generally, the QCT tests are not performed often because of high costs.

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