An x-ray is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body.
X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.X-Rays give a lot of information about the bones within the body but the advances in X-Ray technology over the years have made it a good diagnostic tool even for soft tissue information.
Digital radiography is one of the recent advances in X-ray imaging, where digital X-ray sensors are used instead of traditional photographic film. Advantages of digital imaging include time efficiency, ability to digitally transfer and enhance images and reduced radiation.
Instead of X-ray film, digital radiography uses a digital image capture device. This gives advantages of immediate image preview and availability; elimination of costly film processing steps; a wider dynamic range, which makes it more forgiving for over- and under-exposure; as well as the ability to apply special image processing techniques that enhance overall display of the image.
Tests Done on Digital X-Ray
At EHL Diagnostics, we perform a variety of X rays for various parts of the body and organs. A list of such scans are as follows:
- Chest X-ray
- X-ray Spine
- X-ray Knee
- Hysterosalpingography (HSG)
- X-ray KUB
- Baruim Studies
- X-ray small joints
- Dental X-ray
Who Should undergo BMD Test
What a Bone Density Test Can Do
A bone density test tells you if you have normal bone density, low bone density (osteopenia) or osteoporosis. It is the only test that can diagnose osteoporosis. The lower your bone density, the greater your risk of breaking a bone. A bone density test can help you and your healthcare provider:
Learn if you have weak bones or osteoporosis before you break a bone
Predict your chance of breaking a bone in the future
See if your bone density is improving, getting worse or staying the same
Find out how well an osteoporosis medicine is working
Let you know if you have osteoporosis after you break a bone
We at EHL Diagnostics Gurgaon recommend that you have a bone density test if:
A bone density test may also be necessary if you have any of the following:
An X-ray of your spine showing a break or bone loss in your spine
Back pain with a possible break in your spine
Height loss of ½ inch or more within one year
Total height loss of 1½ inches from your original height
Types of BMD Tests
Central DXA: We recommend that a bone density test of the hip and spine should be done using a central DXA machine to diagnose osteoporosis. DXA stands for dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. When testing can’t be done on the hip and spine, we would be doing central DXA test of the radius bone in the forearm. In some cases, the type of bone density testing equipment used depends on what is available in your community.
Healthcare providers measure bone density in the hip and spine for several reasons. First, people with osteoporosis have a greater chance of fracturing these bones. Second, broken bones in the hip and spine can cause more serious problems, including longer recovery time, greater pain and even disability. Bone density in the hip and spine can also predict the likelihood of future breaks in other bones.
With most types of bone density tests, a person remains fully dressed. The test at EHL Diagnostics would take 6 minutes while at the other centres the test can take upto 40 minutes.. Bone density tests are non-invasive and painless. This means that no needles or instruments are placed through the skin or body. A central DXA uses very little radiation. You are actually exposed to 10–15 times more radiation when you fly roundtrip between Delhi and Mumbai
When repeating a bone density test, it is best to use the same testing equipment and have the test done at the same place each time. This provides a more accurate comparison with your last test result. Although it is not always possible to have your bone density test at the same place, it is still important to compare your current bone density scores to your previous scores.
Standard x-rays cannot be used in place of bone density tests. Unlike bone density tests, X-rays are not able to show osteoporosis until the disease is well advanced.
Screening Tests. Also called peripheral tests, screening tests measure bone density in the lower arm, wrist, finger or heel. The types of peripheral tests are:
pDXA (peripheral dual energy x-ray absorptiometry)
QUS (quantitative ultrasound)
pQCT (peripheral quantitative computed tomography)
Screening tests can help identify people who are most likely to benefit from further bone density testing. They are also useful when a central DXA is not available. These tests are often done at health fairs and in some medical offices. Screening tests cannot accurately diagnose osteoporosis and they should not be used to see how well an osteoporosis medicine is working.
Where to Do the test
Most people need a prescription or referral from their healthcare provider to have a bone density test. If youíre not sure where to go for a bone density test, contact your healthcare provider or your insurance plan to find out where the test is available. Also, most hospital radiology departments, private radiology groups and some medical practices offer bone density testing.
When you go for your appointment, be sure to take the prescription or referral with you. The testing center will send your bone density test results to your healthcare provider. You may want to make an appointment to discuss your results with your healthcare provider.
How Often to Repeat a Bone Density Test
People taking an osteoporosis medicine should repeat their bone density test by central DXA every one - two years. After starting a new osteoporosis medicine, many healthcare providers will repeat a bone density test after one year.
Understanding Bone Density Test Results
Your bone density test results are reported using T-scores. A T-score shows how much your bone density is higher or lower than the bone density of a healthy 30-year old adult. A healthcare provider looks at the lowest T-score to diagnosis osteoporosis.
What Your T-score Means. According to the World Health Organization (WHO):
A T-score of -1.0 or above is normal bone density. Examples are 0.9, 0 and -0.9.
A T-score between -1.0 and -2.5 means you have low bone density or osteopenia. Examples are T-scores of -1.1, -1.6 and -2.4.
A T-score of -2.5 or below is a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Examples are T-scores of -2.6, -3.3 and -3.9.
The lower a personís T-score, the lower the bone density. A T-score of -1.0 is lower than a T-score of 0.5 and a T-score of -3.5 is lower than a T-score of -3.0.
If you have a peripheral bone density test, you should follow up with your healthcare provider. Discuss whether you need additional testing, such as a central DXA test of the hip and/or spine. The results of a peripheral test cannot be compared with the results of a central DXA.
People of Larger Size. Most central DXA machines cannot measure bone density in the hip and spine of patients who weigh more than 100 kgs. The machine at EHL Diagnostics can measure patients upto 150 kgs