Bone Density

The evaluation of bone health has become an essential component of women’s wellness. Elaine M. Junca Women's Imaging Centre uses the Hologic Discovery QDR Bone Densitometer. This technology combines Bone Mineral Density (BMD) measurement with vertebral fracture assessment (IVA) allowing your physician to assess the two most definitive factors associated with osteoporotic fracture risk: low bone mineral density and the presence of vertebral fracture.

Services

  • OnePass Technology - Single sweep scanning enables superior image quality and unparalleled precision
  • Vertebral Fracture Assessment - Recognized as the standard in fracture risk assessment is now even better with our High Definition Instant Vertebral Assessment
  • CADfx - Computer aided fracture assessment provides your physician with tools to automatically recognize fractures
  • Body Composition Analysis - The Discovery unit allows us to analyze your body fat percentage and other soft tissues and track changes over time in response to intervention such as diet and exercise

To schedule an appointment call (337) 993-8300.

As a patient, you have a clear choice when it comes to medical imaging. At Elaine M. Junca Women’s Imaging Centre, we make that decision easy by focusing on your total experience. We will make your imaging experience as convenient and comfortable as possible.

We offer:

  • Easy scheduling and same day/next day appointments
  • Comfortable surroundings
  • Highly trained, caring staff

How to Prepare

On the day of the exam you may eat normally. You should not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your exam.

You should wear loose, comfortable clothing, avoiding garments that have zippers, belts or buttons made of metal.

You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, eyeglasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.

Inform your physician if you recently had a barium examination or have been injected with a contrast material for a computed tomography (CT) scan or radioisotope scan. You may have to wait 10 to 14 days before undergoing a DXA test.

Women should always inform their physician or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

Who should get this test?

Bone density tests are quick and painless and are recommended if you:

  • are a post-menopausal woman and not taking estrogen.
  • have a personal or maternal history of hip fracture or smoking.
  • are a post-menopausal woman who is tall (over 5 feet 7 inches) or thin (less than 125 pounds).
  • use medications that are known to cause bone loss, including corticosteroids such as Prednisone, various anti-seizure medications such as Dilantin and certain barbiturates, or high-dose thyroid replacement drugs.
  • have type 1 (formerly called juvenile or insulin-dependent) diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease or a family history of osteoporosis.
  • have a thyroid condition, such as hyperthyroidism.
  • have a parathyroid condition, such as hyperparathyroidism.
  • have experienced a fracture after only mild trauma.
  • have had x-ray evidence of vertebral fracture or other signs of osteoporosis.

What is a T-score?

When you receive your results you will be given a T-Score.  This number shows the amount of bone you have compared with a young adult of the same gender with peak bone mass and is used to estimate your risk of developing a fracture.

A score above -1 is considered normal.

A score between -1 and -2.5 is classified as osteopenia, the first stage of bone loss.

A score below -2.5 is defined as osteoporosis. 

What to expect at your visit

Our spa-like atmosphere and friendly staff help reduce the stress of getting your bone density scan.  When you arrive at the centre, you will be greeted by our Nurse Navigator, a Registered Nurse who will guide you through every step of your appointment.

Once your paperwork has been completed, the Nurse Navigator will escort you to one of our changing areas where you can store your belongings in a safe and secure locker, change into a comfortable robe and sit in the atrium enjoying peaceful views of Elaine’s Garden while you wait for your technician.

When your technician is ready for you, she will escort you to our bone density room where you will lie on a padded table. An x-ray generator is located below you and an imaging device, or detector, is positioned above.

To assess the spine, your legs will be supported on a padded box to flatten the pelvis and lower (lumbar) spine. To assess the hip, your foot will be placed in a brace that rotates the hip inward. In both cases, the detector is slowly passed over the area, generating images on a computer monitor.

You must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image.

An additional procedure called Instant Vertebral Assessment is also done. IVA is a low-dose x-ray examination of the spine to screen for vertebral fractures that is performed on the DXA machine.

The IVA test adds only a few minutes to the DXA procedure.

The DXA bone density test is usually completed within 10 to 30 minutes.