Bone Densitometry

Bone Densitometry is a diagnostic technique using a low dose of X-rays, to evaluate bone mineral density. In other words, it evaluates the strength of the skeleton by measuring the calcium content in the bones. This allows the analysis of the risk of fracture for the diagnosis and monitoring of osteoporosis (bone fragility)

Bone mineral density increases up to the age of 20-30 and then remains constant up to age 40 and gradually decreases thereafter. This phenomenon affects women more than men. Low bone density is a dependable indicator of the risk of fracture. The purpose of a Bone Densitometry examination is the prevention of osteoporosis and, therefore, of fractures, particularly those of the hip and spine.

This examination is painless and without side effects. You lie on your back, motionless. Under the supervision of a technologist, the machine’s arm slowly passes over the body and emits low-dose x-rays and records the data to measure bone density.

A computer program deciphers the data and produces the measurements in a graphic report. The data obtained are analysed by computer, and the results are interpreted by a radiologist. In addition, X-ray images of your lumbar and thoracic spine are taken to assist in the interpretation of the results and exclude any recent fracture.

Indications:    Menopause – Risk factors for osteoporosis – Osteoporosis monitoring and treatment.

Examination duration 15-30 MINUTES

Examination covered by the RAMQ
1 time / year


Avoid taking calcium tablets, and/or Tums/Rolaids and multivitamins containing calcium 24 hours before the examination.

You cannot have had a nuclear medicine examination, (PET CT, virtual colonoscopy, examination of the digestive system with barium or received an injection of a dye for a radio-diagnostic study) within ten (10) days prior to the bone densitometry examination.