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Osteoporosis can weaken bones to the point where they break easily. The

best test available for measuring bone strength is the Dual-energy X-ray

absorptiometry (DXA) bone density test performed at the lower spine, hip

and sometimes the forearm. 

The test can be used to:

  • Diagnosis osteoporosis

  • Indicate the risk of breaking a bone. If the bone density is low enough,

      one is said to be at ‘unacceptably high risk of breaking a bone’

  • Monitor bone strength by having a baseline test and follow up tests at

      appropriate intervals.


How much radiation will I be exposed to?

The test is a very sophisticated application of x-ray technology using very little radiation. If you fly in an airplane from Vancouver to Toronto you will be exposed to more extra radiation during the flight than what you receive when having a DXA bone density test. The test results are not from the image produced, but rather from the measurement of the amount of calcium calculated by the software, to be in the bone.


Commitment to Excellence is critical in bone density testing.

Quality bone density testing requires special technologist and interpreting physician skills.  Poor quality bone density testing is not uncommon.

Prohealth employs the specially trained technologists needed to perform high quality bone density testing.

  • In Vancouver, Steve Robertson has 20 years experience specializing in bone density testing.  He is on the teaching faculty of the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) and has taught the ISCD bone density testing course for technologists all over North America and overseas.  He recently received the 2014 ISCD Award for Excellence in Densitometry.

  • In Chilliwack, Anita Maier has 28 years experience as a nuclear medicine technologist now specializing in bone density testing.

The physician interpreting bone density test results requires specialized knowledge of DXA technology and osteoporosis.

  • All Prohealth DXA test reports are interpreted by David Kendler MD FRCPC CCD, one of North America’s foremost osteoporosis experts and former president of the ISCD.  Dr. Kendler is on the teaching faculty of the ISCD, presenting the ISCD bone density course for physicians all over the world.  He has a long list of osteoporosis and bone density testing publications to his name and is frequently invited to speak on osteoporosis issues internationally.


The DXA bone density test is easy for the patient.

  • The test is not claustrophobic.

    • While lying on an open table, a scanning arm moves over the patient’s lower spine and a hip.

  • It is painless.

    • No needles.

  • It's so easy that people fall asleep during the test.

  • The entire testing process takes 20-30 minutes.

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