ERAD Radiology

Bone Density Scan

What is a Bone Density Scan?

A Bone Density Scan is a painless, noninvasive imaging test used to measure bone mineral density. It’s currently the best way we can diagnose osteoporosis and osteopenia.

At ERAD, we use quantitative computed tomography (QCT) densitometry to measure your bone mineral density. It is a three-dimensional technique for quantifying volumetric trabecular bone density that is not affected by spine degeneration and abnormal aortic calcification. It is performed using a CT scanner and results in a 3D image. Hip and lumbar spine are the most common areas of evaluation.

We perform Bone Density scanning after you begin treatment for osteoporosis to monitor how well the treatment is working. While there is no cure for osteoporosis, the treatment should halt the degrading of bone density.

Types of Bone Density Scans

At ERAD we do QCT bone density which is solely based  on the lumbar spine.

Reasons you could be referred for a Bone Density Scan

What to expect during your scan

  • You will be asked to lie on your back on a flat table while the scanner passes over the top of you. Each sequence takes a few minutes; please allow 30 minutes for the entire procedure.

Preparing for your Bone Density Scan

  • Unless instructed otherwise, eat normally on the day of the exam; but avoid taking calcium supplements for at least 24 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Sweatsuits and other casual attire without zippers, buttons, grommets, or other metal are preferred.
  • Please inform your doctor if you’ve had a barium study, radioisotope injection, oral or intravenous contrast material from a CT scan or MRI within the last seven days. They may choose to postpone your Bone Density scan.

What happens once your scan is complete?

  • You can go home. Our resident radiologist will analyse your scans and compile a report for your doctor.
  • If you’ve not heard from your referring doctor within 48 hours of your test, please contact their rooms to follow up on your results.
  • If your test indicates osteoporosis, your doctor may request a follow-up scan of your hip and spine to confirm the diagnosis.

Bone Density Scan FAQs

Review our FAQs to help prepare you for your upcoming Bone Density Scan.