bone mineral densitometry (bmd)

Offered at: Aurora and Vaughan clinics.

What is a BMD exam?

Bone mineral densitometry is a special X-ray examination used to measure bone loss.  It is also known as Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA).  The exam is usually performed on the lumbar spine and hip. The results can help with diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.

OHIP covers one baseline BMD test per patient per lifetime. Follow up studies will depend on the results of your baseline test and clinical risk factors.

There are various clinical risk factors which may lead your physician to order a BMD test for you.

How can I prepare for a BMD exam?

It is preferable to wear clothing without zippers or fasteners (e.g. jogging suit or leggings). On the day of the examination, do not take calcium supplements or iron tablets until after the examination.

How is a BMD performed?

A technologist will call you in and ask you to lie on your back on the examination table. For each part of the study (spine and hip) your legs will be positioned appropriately.  A small detector attached to the table will slowly move across the spine or hip and generate images on the computer monitor.

The procedure takes about 15 minutes.