How is densitometry?

Osteoporosis , a common cause of deformation and fracture of bones - a decrease in bone density due to the loss of important elements , especially calcium . The disease is asymptomatic, but it can be detected by densitometry - the study of the mineral composition of bone tissue. Today it is the only method to detect osteoporosis early. How to carry out densitometry ?

How does densitometer
First studies of bone density were performed using ultrasonic instruments scanners - densitometers , but complete and realistic picture , they were not given. Today, experts around the world use X-ray densitometry. X-ray irradiation dose received by the patient during the procedure, is 20 times less than when fluorography .

Densitometer equipped with a sensor that makes measurements of the intensity of the rays passing through the body (low bone density holds less than X-rays).
  • the state of the spine, including the identification of vertebral fractures;
  • the degree of thinning of bone tissue;
  • the mineral content in the studied
    parts of the body and around the body.
The diagnosis
Densitometry is painless, non-traumatic . Depending on the doctor's instructions , it can be carried out , for example, once a year or every two years . Diagnosis may be made only three points of the skeleton of the patient , the most prone to fractures :
  • the forearm (radial bone fractures);
  • lumbar spine (vertebral compression fractures);
  • the femur (hip fracture - particularly dangerous for the elderly who have complicated fusion of the bones).
The procedure takes a few minutes to one hour - the time determined by the volume of the study. The patient removes all metal objects (jewelry, belt buckle , clock ) and tight clothes and lies down on a special table . The radiation source is at the bottom , and the detector , which takes measurements - on the patient . We must keep still for imaging high precision . A doctor interprets the results and compares them with those obtained for patients of the same age and sex.

Densitometry was carried out again if, after a certain period of treatment is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of therapy.

This shows densitometry?
Densitometry should be performed:
  • the elderly;
  • menopausal women (one in three women in this time show signs of early stage of osteoporosis - osteopenia);
  • people taking drugs, glucocorticoids (output of calcium from the body);
  • people suffering from diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, blood, kidneys, endocrine organs.
It should be noted that osteoporosis may occur even in children under three years ( eating disorders , with a deficit in muscle mass or growth hormone , etc.) , as well as in rapidly growing adolescents. Indications for densitometry for both adults and children can identify the attending physician .