(Bone Mineral Densitometry)
What Is BMD (Bone Mineral Densitometry)?
People tend to think that bones are static and unchanging, but the truth is that bones are in constant flux. However, as people age, bone loss can outpace renewal, leading to osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and easily fractured bones. Osteoporosis often goes unnoticed until a fracture occurs, which can have severe consequences. Fractures, especially of the spine and hip, can result in chronic pain, disability, and even death.
Bone density tests play a vital role in identifying osteoporosis and assessing bone strength. These tests are crucial as they can detect issues before fractures happen, enabling proactive measures to prevent bone-related complications and improve overall bone health.
When Would You Need To Do BMD?
Osteoporosis is much more common in females than in males, and it becomes more common after menopause and with advancing age. As a result, health care providers recommend bone density testing for people who have been through menopause and are at least 65 years old. In addition, there are certain characteristics that put people at higher risk for fracture, so health care providers sometimes recommend testing in people younger than 65 years who have one or more risk factors.
What Should You Expect During BMD?
During a Bone Mineral Density (BMD) test, you can expect a straightforward and painless procedure. Typically, you’ll be asked to lie down on an examination table, and a special scanner or machine will be used to measure the density of your bones, often focusing on areas like the hip and spine. There’s no need for any special preparation or discomfort, and the test is quick, usually taking only a few minutes.
BMD tests are vital in assessing bone health, helping to identify osteoporosis or low bone mass, and allowing for early intervention and preventive measures if needed.
Ultrasound Bone Densitometer CM-300 have Touch Screen with Color LCD, High Accurate Measurement with Low Maintenance Cost, Suitable for Screening Test of Osteoporosis Ultrasound Bone Densitometer CM-300 measures bone density of human heel using ultrasound.
How Can You Prepare For BMD?
Bone density tests are easy, fast and painless. Virtually no preparation is needed.
Be sure to tell your doctor beforehand if you’ve recently had a barium exam or had contrast material injected for a CT scan or nuclear medicine test. Contrast materials might interfere with your bone density test.
By When Can You Expect Your Reports?
The result is printed out with graph format chart from a built-in printer. Also adjustable Foot Plate (5 levels) and Temperature Compensation feature provides accurate results. With easy-to-use interface of the colour touch screen, CM-300 is most suitable for screening test of osteoporosis.
Types Of BMD
There are several different types of bone density tests.
Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry — Experts agree that the most useful and reliable bone density test is a specialized kind of x-ray called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, or DXA. DXA provides precise measurements of bone density at important bone sites (such as the spine, hip, and forearm) with minimal radiation.
We recommend DXA of the hip and spine because measurements at these sites are the best at predicting who will have an osteoporotic fracture, at identifying who should be treated for osteoporosis, and at monitoring response to treatment.
If you are unable to lie on an examination table, it will not be possible to measure your spine and hip bone density. Instead, you can sit beside the DXA machine for a scan of your forearm. When the hip and spine cannot be measured, the diagnosis of osteoporosis can be made using a DXA measurement of the forearm. If you have a condition known as hyperparathyroidism or have an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), the forearm may also be measured (in addition to the spine and hip) because the bone density at the forearm may be lower than at the hip with these conditions.
If you have a DXA study done, make sure that your doctor gets the DXA images as well as the actual bone density values. These measurements can hold important clues that are not always on the summary statements.
If your doctor recommends a follow-up DXA (usually two years or more between studies), try to have the follow-up study done at the same facility as the first one. There are different models of DXA instruments, and the bone density measurements are easier to compare if they have been taken on the same model.
Quantitative computerized tomography — This is a type of computed tomography (CT) that provides accurate measures of bone density in the spine. Although this test may be an alternative to DXA, it is seldom used because it is expensive and requires a higher radiation dose.
Ultrasonography — Ultrasound can be used to measure the bone density of the heel. This may be useful to determine a person’s fracture risk. However, it is used less frequently than DXA because there are no guidelines that use ultrasound measurements to diagnose osteoporosis or predict fracture risk. In areas that do not have access to DXA, ultrasound is an acceptable way to measure bone density.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a BMD test painful?
No, BMD tests are painless and non-invasive. They usually involve lying still on an examination table while a machine scans your bones.
Are there any risks associated with BMD testing?
BMD tests are safe and involve minimal radiation exposure, significantly less than a standard X-ray. The benefits of early detection and bone health assessment outweigh the risks.
Can I get a BMD test if I'm pregnant?
It’s generally not recommended for pregnant women unless there’s a specific medical indication. In such cases, precautions are taken to minimize radiation exposure.
How often should I repeat a BMD test?
The frequency of BMD testing depends on your individual risk factors and previous results. Your healthcare provider will recommend a suitable schedule for follow-up tests, which may range from every 1 to 2 years for some individuals to less frequent testing for those with stable bone health.