SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bone density scan. Results from a DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan of a middle-aged woman's left hip bone. DEXA scans are used to measure bone density. They are most often used to asses the risk of developing, or to diagnose, osteoporosis (brittle bone disease). The graph shows that this patient's bone mineral density (BMD) result is within the normal range (blue band). The BMD is also compared to that of a young adult to give a T score, and to that of someone of the same age to give a Z score. The lower these scores are, the lower the comparable bone density. A T score of minus 2.5 or lower is classed as osteoporosis. Scores between minus 1 and minus 2.5 are osteopenia, a below normal bone density.
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