DXA Scan

DXA Scan

Body Composition and Bone Density


Bone density scanning, also called duel-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) or bone densitometry, is an enhanced form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone loss. DXA is today’s established standard for measuring bone mineral DXA Scan Body Compositiondensity (BMD).

A bone density scan is also used to measure body composition. Body composition is used to describe the percentages of fat, lean muscle, and bone in human bodies. Because muscular tissue takes up less space in our body than fat tissue, our body composition, as well as our weight, determines leanness.

Image color-coding shown here helps to visualize the different components of your body composition.


DXA scans enables you to get an in-depth look at your body composition. In ten minutes or less, you can get a visual representation of:

  • Body fat percentage
  • Bone density
  • Fat tissue (subcutaneous vs visceral)
  • Muscle mass

The information can be used to craft ultra-personalized care plans for yourself, and help you manage your health.


This exam requires little to no special preparation. Tell the technologist if there is a possibility you are pregnant or if you recently had a barium exam or received an injection of contrast material for a CT or radioisotope scan. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown. You should not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your exam.


Weight and body mass index (BMI) are limited measurements of an individual’s health. DXA body composition analysis is considered a “gold standard” for health assessment since it goes beyond weight and BMI to deliver an accurate and precise measurement of the body. By quantifying the fat mass, lean mass, and bone density of each segment of the body, GE DXA systems can help show the benefits of improving diet, exercise, and lifestyle.



  • DXA bone densitometry is a simple, quick and noninvasive procedure
  • No anesthesia is required
  • The amount of radiation used is extremely small - less that one-tenth the dose of a standard chest x-ray, and less than a day’s exposure to natural radiation.
  • DXA bone density testing is currently the best standardized method available to diagnose osteoporosis and is also considered an accurate estimator of fracture risk.
  • No radiation remains in a patient’s body after an x-ray examination.
  • X-rays usually have no side effects in the typical diagnostic range for this exam.


  • There is always a slight chance of cancer from excessive exposure to radiation
  • Women should always inform their x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
  • No complications are expected with the DXA procedure.