North Shore Medical Center uses dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to conduct bone density tests. This is the most accurate way to measure bone mass. The DXA is fast, uses very low doses of radiation and can measure as little as two percent of bone loss per year.
DXA uses two different X-ray beams to estimate bone density in your spine and hip. The area scanned is the lumbar spine (lower back), hips and sometimes forearm. Since strong, dense bones allow less of the X-ray beam to pass through them, the DXA test compares the percentage of each X-ray beam blocked by bone and soft tissue.