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DXA Process


DXA scan in progress

Image generated can be seen in the foreground.

Because a DXA instrument will detect any extraneous materials, patients undergoing a DXA scan usually change into hospital gowns or thin scrub suits. All jewelry and other metals are removed. Patients lie quietly on a scanning bed with their arms at their sides. The scanning arm begins at the top of the bed (above the patient's head) and moves slowly toward the foot end. Most adult DXA scans take about 15 minutes, but the shorter you are, the quicker the scan.

The amount of radiation used in a typical DXA scan is very low. The effective dose for a whole body scan is less than one tenth of a standard chest X-ray. Because of the directional X-ray beams used, the DXA operator may stay in the room during a scan, and no additional shielding is necessary.



[DXA technique] [theory] [process] [schematic]

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