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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What does an abnormal dexa scan mean?

I am 63, 5'2" (have lost an inch) and weigh 143. I have been taking Fosamax for many years and have osteoporosis. I have now been told that my dexascan from a month ago is abnormal. I will not be able to see my dr. about it for another three weeks and am concerned. What does an abnormal dexascan mean?
Mon, 1 Sep 2014
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Radiologist 's  Response
Hi,
Thanks for writing in.

An abnormal DEXA scan may suggest weakness of the bones in your skeleton leading to osteoporosis which increases the risk of fractures. In this scan, the bone density is calculated by dual energy X ray absorptiometry. The mineral content of bones is tested and the result appears as a score with respect to a normal female at your age, Z score and a normal 30 years old adult female, the T score.

A T-score of -2.5 or lower qualifies as osteoporosis.
A T-score of -1.0 to -2.5 signifies osteopenia, meaning below-normal bone density without full osteoporosis.
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What does an abnormal dexa scan mean?

Hi, Thanks for writing in. An abnormal DEXA scan may suggest weakness of the bones in your skeleton leading to osteoporosis which increases the risk of fractures. In this scan, the bone density is calculated by dual energy X ray absorptiometry. The mineral content of bones is tested and the result appears as a score with respect to a normal female at your age, Z score and a normal 30 years old adult female, the T score. A T-score of -2.5 or lower qualifies as osteoporosis. A T-score of -1.0 to -2.5 signifies osteopenia, meaning below-normal bone density without full osteoporosis.