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The Discovery dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) system provides a single, comprehensive platform for the assessment of three major health issues:

  • Osteoporosis including vertebral fracture assessment
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Obesity

Some of the risk factors of patients who should be tested by DXA are as follows:

  • Early menopause, surgical menopause
  • Low body weight compared to height
  • Diet - low intake of milk products and lack of vitamin D
  • Life-style factors: cigarette smoking, caffeine, alcohol abuse, lack of exercise
  • Drugs and diseases, corticoseroid treatment, hyperthyroidism, anorexia nervosa, amenorrhoea, arthritis
  • Genetic factors (family history, race)
UF Health Women's Imaging

Frequently Asked Questions

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased susceptibility to fractures, especially of the hip, spine and wrist, although any bone can be affected. Breaks may occur anywhere from a minor fall to a daily action of a sneeze or bump into furniture.

Difference between healthy and osteoporotic bone

Healthy bone

Healthy bone

Osteoporotic bone

Osteoporotic bone

Reproduced from J Bone Miner Res 1986;1:15-21 with permission of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. ©1986 by Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.

What are the benefits to the patient of bone density testing?

  • Early detection of bone loss and monitoring of therapeutic effectiveness
  • Measurement of axial skeletal sites where potential early bone loss may occur
  • Highest precision of <1.0%
  • Low radiation dose for patient imaging with high resolution

Why is the Hologic Discovery the gold standard for testing for bone density?

  • Exceptional precision and accuracy
  • High-definition digital DXA detectors improve fracture detection and help visualize abdominal aortic calcifications
  • Speed and image quality: this imaging technology captures the hip and spine with as fast as 10-second regional scanning time
  • Superb visualization: this exclusive design uses a high-resolution detector array paired with true fan-beam linear acquisition geometry
  • Consistency from exam to exam: the system performs continuous, automatic calibration, ensuring precise measurement results from exam to exam

What does the Hologic Discovery DXA equipment look like and what are its benefits to physicans?

DXA equipment

Hologic Discovery DXA Equipment

DXA procedure

Procedure illustration

DXA results

Procedure results

The Discovery offers One Pass technology, and benefits include:

  • Single-sweep scanning
  • CT-based acquisition geometry
  • Digital image processing for all scan modes
  • Continuous calibration
  • Anthropomorphic spine phantom
  • Comprehensive FRAX summary patient reports inclusive of T-Score trends

How do I make an appointment of my bone density (DXA) screening and how much does it cost?

Patients will need a prescription from your healthcare provider to schedule a DXA scan which can be your regular primary care provider, gynecologist or another specialist who may want to refer you for the screening. The DXA screening should be performed every two years for post-menopausal women unless otherwise recommended by your physician. This screening is typically covered by most insurance carriers, however patients should check regardless of your coverage prior to scheduling the screen.

To make your appointment at the UF Health Jacksonville Breast Center for your bone density screening (DXA, DEXA), call 904-383-1024.