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How does a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) scanner work?

ANSWER

A DXA scanner is a machine that creates two X-ray beams. One is high energy and the other is low energy. The machine measures the amount of X-rays that pass through the bone from each beam. This will be different depending on how thick the bone is. Based on the difference between the two beams, your doctor can measure your bone density.

SOURCES:

National Osteoporosis Foundation: "Bone Density Exam/Testing."

NHS: "DEXA (DXA) scan -- How it is performed."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Final Recommendation Statement: Osteoporosis: Screening."

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on November 08, 2018

SOURCES:

National Osteoporosis Foundation: "Bone Density Exam/Testing."

NHS: "DEXA (DXA) scan -- How it is performed."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Final Recommendation Statement: Osteoporosis: Screening."

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on November 08, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What are the results of a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) scan?

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