What Is Bone Densitometry?

Bone Densitometry is a simple, painless, non-invasive test that takes about 15 minutes.

A DEXA (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) machine is utilized to provide a Bone Densitometry exam.

The bone density test measures bone mass, also known as bone mineral density. By comparing your test results to a database, healthcare providers can estimate bone strength and predict potential for fractures.

In addition, this procedure uses up to 100 times less radiation than a CT Bone Density exam and is twice as accurate.
Included in your exam is the IVA (Instant Vertebral Assessment), a specialized lateral (side) view of the spine. It reveals existing vertebral deformities, compression fractures and more. An existing spine fracture increases the risk of future spine fractures five-fold and doubles the risk of hip fracture. The addition of IVA to a DEXA scan increases the success of diagnosis and is included in every DEXA study.

It is important to know that your exam will be performed by staff and radiologists who have received additional certification from the ISCD (International Society for Clinical Densitometry). DEXA equipment at PENRAD Imaging has also been certified by the ISCD.

Further Information


You must inform the technologist if you are, or think you might be, pregnant.

No vitamins, calcium, mineral supplements, or bone building prescriptions for 24 hours prior to exam.


Why Test Your Bone Density?

Although women most commonly suffer from Osteoporosis – The Silent Killer – this disease strikes both men and women.

Bones that lose density and become porous are weak and fragile. Without treatment, Osteoporosis can silently advance until a bone breaks. By diagnosing Osteoporosis in the early stages, your healthcare provider can start treatment that can prevent broken bones.

A Bone Densitometry test is the best diagnostic tool for early detection of Osteoporosis. DEXA studies do not require a referral from a healthcare provider – you may schedule your own appointment if you are over the age of 35.  (**Medicare now requires patients have a referral**)

Eight million American women and two million American men suffer from Osteoporosis, and millions more have low bone density. One in two women and one in eight men over age 50 will have an Osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. In the U.S. today, 10 million individuals already suffer from this disease, and 18 million more have low bone mass.


Risk Factors

Some Common Risk Factors:

  • Age
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Asian or Caucasian descent
  • Certain medications (steroids & thyroid hormones, etc.)
  • Early menopause (under age 45)
  • Family history of Osteoporosis
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Inadequate calcium ingestion
  • Postmenopausal
  • Previous fracture
  • Smoking
  • Thin or petite build

What To Expect

Exam Preparation

This procedure requires no injections but requires minimal preparations. This 10- to 20-minute test requires a two-piece outfit or hospital-style gown with no metal buckles, buttons or zippers that could interfere with your pictures.

Do not ingest any calcium-based medications or supplements for 24 hours before the exam.

Please let our appointment scheduler, technologist or radiologist know if you are or suspect you may be pregnant.

During the Exam

You will be required to lie on your back on the exam table.

It is extremely important that you lie still while your images are acquired.

The technologist will re-position you in order to capture the "IVA" (Instant Vertebral Assesment).

After the Exam

A computer-generated printout is produced by the DEXA machine.

A Board Certified Radiologist will interpret your results and provide a formal report for you and your
healthcare provider.

This information will assist your provider in developing a treatment plan. The ultimate goal is to reduce fracture risk and help prevent future broken bones.

Also, when repeated over time, this test can help track the increase or decrease of bone mass.

Feel free to contact our facility or check with your healthcare provider for additional information.



Bone Density Exams are available at these locations:

PENRAD @ Audubon Medical Campus
3050 N. Circle Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80909

PENRAD @ Broadmoor Area Centura Neighborhood Health Center
1263 Lake Plaza Drive, #100
Colorado Springs, CO 80906

PENRAD @ Sisters Grove Pavilion
6011 Woodmen Road, #10
Colorado Springs, CO 80923

PENRAD @ Tri-Lakes Health Pavilion
17230 Jackson Creek Pkwy, #160
Monument, CO  80132

To request an appointment, click here or call (719) 785-9000 option 1



Oncology, Neurology, Cardiology

Nuclear Medicine

Bone Scans, MUGA


Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring. No referral required.


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