Bone mineral density scan

Definition of bone mineral density scan

bone mineral density scan

(... MIH-neh-rul DEN-sih-tee skan)
A procedure that measures the amount of calcium and other minerals in a bone by passing x-rays with two different energy levels through the bone. A bone mineral density scan shows the strength and thickness of a bone and is usually done in the lower spine, hip, lower arm, wrist, fingers, and heel. It is used to diagnose osteoporosis (a condition of lower bone density), to see how well osteoporosis treatments are working, and to predict how likely the bones are to break. A bone mineral density scan also measures fat and muscle composition in specific parts of the body, such as the arms, legs, and pelvis. Also called BMD scan, bone densitometry, DEXA scan, dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, and DXA.

Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms