Bone densitometry testing is primarily performed to identify persons with osteoporosis and osteopenia (decreased bone mass) so that the appropriate medical therapy and treatment can be implemented. Early treatment helps to prevent future bone fractures. It may also be recommended for persons who have already had a fracture and are considered at risk for osteoporosis.
You should have your bone density tested if:
- Premenopausal women with high risk include:
Premenopausal women with two or more major risk factors:
- Surgical menopause
- Hypomenorrhea or amenorrhea
- Anorexia nervosa
Males with one or more major risk factors:
- Positive family history
- Height under 5 feet 3 inches
- Loss of height of over one inch
- Lifelong low calcium intake (milk intolerant or avoids all dairy products)
- Previous fracture in adult years with minimal trauma or in classic fracture sites due to osteoporosis (e.g. vertebrae, wrist, hip, pelvis)
- Evidence of osteopenis on plain radiograph
- Age of 65
- Ethanol abuse
Prolonged immobilization (more than one month)
High suspicion of poor calcium intake for more than ten years in select individuals.
Rheumatoid arthritis with continuous disease over a five year duration.
When a patient begins chronic corticosteroid medication or methotrexate and every one to two years while on these drugs.
Prolonged use of thyroid replacement.
Insulin dependent diabetes
Evaluation and monitoring of treatment program for osteoporosis.
- Hypogonadal (low pooled testosterone)
- Ethanol abuse
- Estrogen or estrogen/progesterone
- Testosterone replacement
- Calcitonin therapy
- Anabolic Steroid therapy