What Is Audiometry? | ENT Specialist


An audiometry exam tests how well your hearing functions. It tests both the intensity and the tone of sounds, balance issues, and other issues related to the function of the inner ear. A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating hearing loss called an audiologist administers the test.

The test is divided into tonal and verbal audiometry.

In tonal audiometry, the airway and the bone pathway are evaluated, in both cases, the two ears are explored separately and the patient is inside a soundproof and hermetically closed cabin. In aerial audiometry, the person must put on headphones and then play a series of sounds from high to low volume until the expert can be heard. The final perceived sound determines the auditory input, that is, the patient can hear at any intensity at a certain frequency. When examining the bone pathway, a vibrator is placed behind the patient’s ear, at the mastoid, where it receives the sound.

Verbal audiometry is also performed with the patient in the booth and with headphones, but instead of sound, the words are delivered in different volumes, which must be repeated exactly. A word recognition test is also performed, which measures the patient’s ability to distinguish between speech and background noise.

The acoustic reflex test is used to find out where the hearing loss is.

Types of audiometry

Pure Tone Audiometry  – This is a very common hearing test. With a pair of headphones, sounds are passed through your outer and middle ears to test hearing sensitivity.

  • Bone conduction audiometry – Similar to the pure tone audiometry test, but instead of headphones, a small device is placed behind the ear or on the forehead. Sensitive vibrations are sent through the bone to the inner ear to know how well you are hearing. It also tells you if you have a problem with your router or middle ear.
  • Speech Audiometry: This test can help identify neurological types of hearing loss. The auditory system is evaluated by evaluating hearing ability. An audiologist speaks through headphones and the listener must repeat them.
  • Upper Threshold Audiometry – Similar to speech audiometry, it is a speech recognition test. It helps to identify different types of hearing loss in both ears by testing whether the listener can accurately recognize speech at the level of distinctive speech.
  • Self-recording audiometry (BKC audiometry): the listener can control the rise and fall of the intensity as the frequency gradually changes back and forth across the hearing limit.
  • Impedance Audiometry: the measurement of the movement and air pressure of the middle ear system and its reactions.
  • Computer Managed Audiometry (Microprocessor): Advanced version of self-recording audiometry.
  • Objective Audiometry: This test helps determine if there is any damage to the inner ear. The listener does not need to respond, so this usually occurs in newborns and infants.
  • Electrococciography (ECOG): measures electrical activity in the inner ear, produced by the cochlea and vestibulocochlear nerves in response to sound.
  • Auditory Brain System Response (ABR) / Auditory Evoked Potential (AEP): This test examines the auditory nerves and the hearing centre in the brain and how well they work. This will determine if you have sensorineural hearing loss. Electrodes are placed on your head and connected to a computer. With the use of headphones, your brain wave activity records your responses to the sounds you hear.

Why is audiometry done?

An audiometry test is done to determine how well you can hear. This can be done as part of a routine exam or in response to a noticeable hearing loss.

Common causes of hearing loss are:

  • Birth defects
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Hereditary conditions such as otosclerosis occur when abnormal bone growth prevents structures in the ear from working properly.
  • Ear injury
  • Inner ear disease, Meniere’s disease, or an autoimmune disease that affects the inner ear.
  • Regular exposure to loud noises.
  • Broken eardrum

Hearing loss is caused by hearing damage or prolonged exposure to loud noises. It sounds louder than 85 dB as you hear it at a rock concert, causing hearing loss after a few hours. If you are exposed to loud music or industrial noise daily, it is a good idea to wear headphones such as foam earplugs.

How audiometry is performed

There are some tests in audiometry. The pure tone test measures the quiet noise you can hear at different pitches. It uses an audiometer, a machine that reproduces sounds through headphones. Your audiologist or assistant will play different sounds such as tones and speaks in one ear at different intervals to determine your hearing range. The audiologist will give you instructions for each sound. They will most likely ask you to raise your hand when you can hear the noise.

Your hearing test allows your audiologist to assess your ability to distinguish speech from background noise. A sound pattern will play and you will be asked to repeat the words you heard. Word recognition can help identify hearing loss.

You can use the tuning fork to see how well you hear vibrations through your ears. Your audiologist will place this metal device against the bone behind your ear, mastoid, or use a bone oscillator to find out how many vibrations are passing through the bones to your inner ear. A bone oscillator is a mechanical device that transmits vibrations similar to a tuning fork.

This test does not cause any pain or discomfort and takes about an hour.

What happens during the test?

Audiometric tests are performed in a quiet, soundproof room. The headphones are placed on your head. You are asked to sit and speak. The headphones are connected to a machine that transmits tones and sounds to your ears, one ear at a time. The audiologist will ask you to raise your hand when he hears a noise.

For example, if you hear a noise with your left ear, raise your left hand, If you hear a noise with your right ear, raise your right hand. In some installations, you may be asked to press a button or to acknowledge that it has detected sound. The audiologist records each voice at the lowest volume you can hear. Before or after a simple audiometry test, tuning forks are also used to perform the Rinne and Weber tests. Each test assesses the different types of hearing loss.

To assess speech discrimination, you will be prompted to repeat the words you have heard. You will hear a series of two-letter words in a volume that gradually decreases on the test. In the second stage of the test, you listen to and repeat a series of one-letter words without changing the volume.

During the tympanometry and acoustic reflex exam, a soft plug is placed in your ear. The plug changes pressure makes a loud noise and tracks your responses to sound and various pressures. Small muscle reactions are measured by measuring the movement of the eardrum.

After audiometry

After the test, your audiologist will review your results with you. Depending on how well you hear the volume and tone, your doctor will advise you of preventive measures to take, such as wearing earplugs when there is a loud noise or wearing headphones.


Everything You Need To Know About Flexibility Tests | Orthopaedics


Flexibility tests assess the ability of muscles and joints to move easily through their full range of motion.

Purpose of flexibility tests

Joint conditions such as arthritis, tight muscles, or other problems with the muscles and connective tissue around the joints limit flexibility. Flexibility tests are used to diagnose conditions such as muscle imbalance, arthritis in the joint, or a shoulder sprain or obstruction. They are also used to identify tight muscle groups that can lead to injury during daily activities or exercise.

Flexibility tests that assess a range of motion in joints are often included in routine physical exams to assess limitations in daily activities such as walking, reaching, or lifting objects. For example, walking with bent knees due to the inability to fully extend the knee space puts pressure on the hips and back. The compression of the hamstrings (muscles behind the thigh) limits pelvic tilt. It can alter the lumbar or lower spine. Flexibility tests indicate the need for specific exercises to test flexibility.

Sit-and-reach tests

The sit-and-stretch test is the most common flexibility test. First described in 1952, it is often used as a general flexibility measure. The sit-and-stretch test assesses the flexibility of the hamstrings, hips, and lower back by measuring the ability to move forward from a seated position – the longer, the less pelvic movement is restricted. Stress in the hamstrings and lower back is often associated with low back pain, risk of injury, and other complications.

There are many variations on the sit-and-stretch test, sometimes called the V-sit test. The basic test consists of sitting on the floor, without shoes, with the legs fully extended and the feet of 2 inches (5 cm) and 12 inches (30 cm) with the arms extended, palms down, one hand on top of the other. Bend over, extending from your lower back to your spine, slowly advance as far as possible while inhaling and stretch for two seconds. The distance reached by fingerprints on the fourth or best of three or four attempts should rest for several seconds between each attempt.

There are several variations for sitting and stretching:

  • The partner can hold the knees to keep the legs extended.
  • The feet can be placed on a box, step, or another flat surface.
  • The subject can sit against the wall.
  • The back-saving version tests the legs separately, one stretched out and the other flat with the foot on the floor.
  • Older people can sit 17 inches (43 cm) high on the edge of a chair. With one foot flat on the ground, the other leg is extended straight at the knee, heel, and ankle on the ground.
  • The lift and tendon flexibility test uses a goniometer and eliminates the effects of arm, leg, and trunk length.

There are several ways to measure range, including:

  • Specially constructed sit-and-stretch box.
  • Ruler on the ground or foot.
  • The position of the crotch and heel is marked with “zero” near the patio between the legs.
  • A tape on the ground to reach a great distance from the wall.
  • The “zero” person adjusts, replacing different lengths of arms and legs, depending on their upright sitting position.

Upper body tests

Flexibility in the chest, shoulders, and muscles is very important for good posture. A test is performed by holding the ends of the wrapped towel and standing with the feet at the hips. Using the towel, lift your arms, and then roll your body slightly back until your chest, shoulders, and buttocks are comfortably stretched. Repeat the test closely with your hands on the towel.

External rotation of the shoulder is important for activities ranging from dressing to racquet sports. The knees are bent, with the feet resting on the back on a flat surface, with one arm at shoulder height and the elbow bent with the upper hand on the floor. The arm and forearm should return to the side of the head as much as possible.

The back-scratch, shoulder stretch, or shoulder flexibility test assesses the internal or internal rotation of the shoulder. One arm is raised above the head and bent at the elbow, reaching as far back as possible. The other hand reaches around the waist and tries to touch the fingers of the upper hand. The distance between the fingers is measured.

Flexibility tests precautions

Flexibility tests should not be painful and stretching should never be taken for granted. It is important to perform flexibility tests smoothly, without bouncing or jerking. Rapid movements can cause injury.

The flexibility of body proportion affects the test results. For example, people with long arms and/or short legs perform better sitting and stretching tests than those with short arms and/or long legs. Rounding the back during the sit-and-stretch test negates the results.

There are specific precautions for various flexibility tests:

  • Sit-and-stretch tests increase low back pain and should not be performed by anyone with osteoporosis or a recent total hip replacement.
  • Trunk rotation tests should not be exacerbated by distortion of someone with osteoporosis or back pain.
  • Anyone with a complete hip replacement should not have a hip flexion test.
  • People with foot or ankle problems should be examined by a physical therapist before performing the calf flexibility test.


In many cases, flexibility tests are similar to exercises that improve flexibility. Flexibility exercises should be done at least three times a week. Retests should be done every two to three months, but only once a week. Dynamic warm-up stretches can be added to a flexibility exercise routine. These include double hip rotations, shoulder stretches, neck rotations, and ligament stretches. Rules like yoga and Pilates always include exercises that improve flexibility.


Online maps and calculators are available to perform flexibility tests and compare results for the same age and gender. However, due to the many variations in test protocols and individual and developmental differences in arm, leg, and trunk lengths, it is generally advisable to record test results and compare them over time to assess progress. individual.

Depending on how the measurements are taken, the average results on a sit-and-stretch test at home can range from 0 to 2 inches (5 cm) for men and 0.5 to 4 inches (1 to 10 cm) for women. The highest results can be above 10.5 inches (27 cm) for men and 11.5 inches (29 cm) for women. Very Poor Results for Men -8.0 in. (-20 cm) less and -6 in for women. It can be less than (-15 cm).

Other typical results of flexibility tests include:

  • Trunk rotation: excellent (8 inches or 20 cm), Poor (0 inches) (fingers touching the line)
  • Groove test: excellent (2 inches or 5 cm) Poor (10 inches or 25 cm).
  • Normal calf flexibility: pulling the leg past the ankle joint or bending the ankle more than 90 than the body.
  • Normal shoulder height: armrests above the head in full contact with the ground.
  • Normal Shoulder External Rotation – Rest your entire arm on the floor at shoulder level with your elbow bent.

Electroencephalography (ENG) – an Overview | ENT

What is electroencephalography (ENG)?

Electroencephalography (ENG) is a test that shows the movement of your eyes to see how well the two cranial nerves are working in your brain. The two nerves are the vocal nerve and the common oculomotor nerve. The acoustic nerve connects the brain and inner ear and regulates hearing and balance. The common oculomotor nerve connects the brain with the muscles of the eye.

Electroencephalography is actually a series of tests that have the following 1 or more measurements:

  • Calibration test: For this test, you will follow a light with your eyes. This test checks for ocular dysmetria, a condition that causes students to exceed the target.
  • Nystagmus exam of the eyes: For this test, you will see a fixed light placed in the centre or to the side as you sit or lie down. This test measures how well you can fix your gaze on an object without unintentionally moving your eyes.
  • Pendulum tracking test: For this test, you follow a light with your eyes as it moves like the pendulum of a clock.
  • Optokinetic test: Check your ability to follow the light. The light quickly moves in and out of your field of vision and returns while keeping your head still.
  • Position test: For this test, you not only move your eyes but also your head and possibly your entire body. For example, you may be told to turn your head quickly to one side. Or you can ask them to sit up quickly after you go to bed. The amount of eye movement caused by this action is recorded.
  • Water caloric test: This test involves placing warm or cold water in a syringe in the ear canal. The water touches the tympanic membrane. If there is no problem, your eyes will involuntarily move to this stimulus. Your provider may use air instead of water as a stimulant for this test. If you have a damaged tympanic membrane, it is very tall.

Types of electroencephalography tests and how they are administered

There are different types of electroencephalography tests. Your doctor may administer one or more. The standard test generally consists of three parts.

  • Caloric test: For the calorie test, electrode patches are placed above, below, and on each side of the eyes. Another electrode is placed on your forehead. When your head is held in position, your doctor will stimulate your balance system using hot and cold air. Sometimes the water is also used. The electrodes record all the movements of your eyes as your inner ear and nearby nerves respond to changes in temperature.
  • Oculomotor test: For the oculomotor test, your doctor will ask you to keep your head still while allowing your eyes to follow the light as your eyes move rapidly through and beyond your field of vision. This allows your doctor to understand how your eyes follow and move as you pursue the target.
  • Position test: For a position test, your doctor will ask you to quickly turn your head to the side or lie down, and then sit or stand very quickly. This test measures how your eyes respond to movement.

Why do I need electroencephalography (ENG) test?

Your healthcare provider uses ENG to locate parts of the inner ear that describe defects, balance, and spatial orientation of the peripheral vestibular system, or the nerves that connect the vestibular system to the brain and eye muscles.

You may have this test if you have unexplained dizziness, vertigo, or hearing loss. These are symptoms, not a diagnosis. ENG can help you find the exact cause of your symptoms. Possible causes:

  • Acoustic neuroma: Nerve tumor that regulates sound and balance.
  • Labyrinthitis: Inflammation of the inner ear, often caused by a virus.
  • Usher syndrome: A congenital disorder that causes hearing loss.
  • Ménière’s disease: This happens when you have too much fluid in your inner ear. It affects hearing and balance.

If there is a known sore (lesion), ENG can locate the original site. There may be other reasons why your healthcare provider may recommend ENG.

When does my doctor order this electroencephalography test?

Vertigo is a very common but challenging treatment. Sometimes it disappears. At other times, it comes back randomly. This is especially true for people with Meniere’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear.

Used to detect even the slightest eye movements, ENG is an important tool for diagnosing vertigo and other “vestibular” problems – things related to balance, movement, the nerves that send messages to the inner ear and brain. The tests can detect physical signs of disease.

Your doctor may order ENG if you have symptoms of vertigo, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of balance
  • Tinnitus (not really when you think you hear sounds)

How do I prepare for the Electroencephalography (ENG) test?

Your healthcare provider will explain this policy to you and you can ask any questions you have about this policy.

  • You may be asked to sign a consent form that gives you permission to perform the procedure. Read the form carefully and ask questions if you don’t know anything clearly.
  • Follow the instructions you were given not to eat or drink before the test.
  • Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines (prescription and over-the-counter), vitamins, and herbs you take.
  • Avoid taking narcotics, sedatives, and other medications prescribed by your healthcare provider before the test.
  • Carefully clean the ears of excess wax. Before ENG, your ears may be checked for wax, inflammation, or other problems that may interfere with the test.
  • If you wear \ cords or headphones, please bring them for the test.
  • Depending on your health condition, your healthcare provider may request other specific preparations.

What happens during the Electroencephalography (ENG) test?

You may have ENG depending on the patient. That means you go home the same day. Or it can be part of a hospital stay. Policies may vary depending on your situation and the practices of your healthcare provider.

Generally, ENG follows this procedure:

  • Your healthcare provider will remove the wax from your ear.
  • Before placing the electrodes, your healthcare provider will clean the skin areas on your face with an alcohol-saturated cotton ball and air dry them.
  • Your provider uses paste to place the electrodes. He or she will place an electrode in the centre of your forehead. Another electrode is placed above the eyebrow and below the eye. You can still close your eyes. You may also have electrodes on each side of your eye.
  • You may be asked to look up, down, or to the side, depending on the type of test being done. Or you may be asked to move your head or your whole body. You may also be asked to close your eyes. It does not interfere with the recording of your eye movement.
  • For a calorie test, your provider puts air or water in your ear. This happens by recording the movements of your eyes.
  • The recorder detects electrical activity from the electrodes. The logger amplifies the signal and graphics so your provider can understand the results.

What happens after the electroencephalography (ENG) test?

  • After the ENG test is complete, your provider will remove the electrodes and wash off the electrode paste. Do not rub your eyes to prevent the electrode paste from spreading.
  • Your provider will look for signs of weakness, dizziness, and nausea. You need to lie down or sit for a few minutes to recover.
  • Your healthcare provider will tell you when to stop taking the medicine before the test.
  • Depending on your particular situation, your healthcare provider may give you other instructions after the procedure.
  • You may also have a videonystagmogram (VNG). It is also a test that detects the movement of the eyes. But use video cameras instead of electrodes.

Next steps

Make sure you know before accepting the electroencephalography test or procedure:

  • Name of the test or procedure
  • The reason the test or procedure is being performed
  • What results to expect and what they mean
  • Disadvantages and advantages of the test or procedure.

What are the side effects or problems of electroencephalography?

An electroencephalography (ENG) test or procedure should be performed when and where

  • Who performs the test or procedure and what are the qualifications of that person?
  • What happens if the test or procedure is not done?
  • Consider alternative tests or procedures
  • When and how you get results?
  • Who to call after the test or procedure if you have questions or problems?
  • How much do you pay for the test or procedure?

What are the electroencephalography (ENG) results?

After completing the electroencephalography series, your doctor will remove the electrodes (or camera device) from your face. If you feel dizzy, you may be asked to lie down for a few minutes.

Then it is time to review the data and find out what it means.

  • Electroencephalography (ENG) is excellent for detecting inner ear disorders, and since it regulates the balance of the inner ear, it is crucial for a variety of diagnoses.
  • If ENG diagnoses a type of vertigo, your doctor may prescribe medications including physical therapy, surgery, or medications for vestibular (or balance-related) disorders.
  • If the electroencephalography is unresponsive, your doctor may recommend a rotational chair exam, fistula testing (applying pressure to your ear), or other tests, including an MRI.

Risk Factors and Types of Electromyography | Orthopaedics

What is electromyography?

Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure that evaluates the health of the muscles and the nerve cells that control them. These nerve cells are called motor neurons. These transmit electrical signals that cause muscles to contract and relax. Electromyography translates these signals into graphs or numbers, which helps doctors make a diagnosis.

Electromyography is often prescribed by a doctor when someone shows signs of a muscle or nerve disorder. These symptoms can include tingling, numbness, or unexplained weakness in the limbs. EMG results help a doctor diagnose the disorders of the muscle and neurological connection between nerves and muscles.

Some doctors may prescribe electromyography as an electrodiagnostic test.

Types of electromyography

There are two types of electromyography, which are the following:

Superficial electromyography: Surface EMG assesses muscle function by recording surface muscle activity on muscle on the skin. Surface electrodes can only provide a limited estimate of muscle activity.

Intramuscular electromyography: Intramuscular EMG can be performed using a variety of recording electrodes. The simplest approach is the monopolar needle electrode. It can be a thin wire inserted into the muscle as a reference with a surface electrode, or two thin strings inserted into each other like the muscles shown.

Why electromyography is done?

If a nerve or muscle disorder is doubted, the doctor may suggest electromyography. These symptoms can include:

  • Tingle
  • Numbness
  • Muscular weakness
  • Numbness or muscle pain
  • Some types of organ pain

Electromyography results are often necessary to confirm or rule out several conditions:

  • Muscle disorders, muscular dystrophy, or polymyositis
  • Diseases that interrupt the function of the nerve and the muscle, such as myasthenia gravis
  • Nerve disorders outside the spinal cord (peripheral nerves) such as carpal tunnel syndrome or peripheral neuropathy
  • Disorders affecting motor neurons in the brain or spinal cord, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or polio
  • Defects that affect the nerve root, such as a herniated disc in the spine

Before the procedure

  • Your doctor will explain the procedure to you and welcomes any questions on the same.
  • Generally, fasting is not required before the test. In some cases, cigarettes and caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, and cola are restricted before the test.
  • Tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking (prescription and over-the-counter) and herbal medicines.
  • Tell your doctor if you have a pacemaker.
  • Wear clothing that allows access to the area to be examined or easily removed.
  • Avoid using lotions or oils on your skin for a few days before your procedure or the day of the test.
  • Depending on your medical condition, your doctor may request a specific preparation for others.

During the procedure

Electromyography can be performed on a patient basis or as part of your hospital stay. The steps may vary depending on your health problem and the practices of your healthcare provider. Talk to your healthcare provider about what to do during your exam.

Electromyography is performed by a healthcare provider who specializes in neurological disorders. This is usually a neurologist or physical therapist. Electromyography often occurs after a neural conduction study.

Generally, Electromyography tests follow this procedure:

You will be asked to remove clothing, jewelry, hairpins, glasses, headphones, or other metal objects that may interfere with the test.

  • You will be given a gown to wear before the test.
  • Your position is adjusted before the test.
  • A neurologist finds the muscles that need to be studied.
  • The skin is cleaned with an antiseptic solution. Next, a clean, fine needle is inserted into the muscle. A metal plate is placed under you.
  • Multiple needles may be required to perform the test. You may feel some pain when placing the electrode. But it is often painless.
  • If the test is painful, tell the examiner as it may lead to complications.
  • You will be asked to relax and then do some full-strength muscle contractions.
  • The electrical activity of the working muscles is measured and displayed on the monitor. An audio amplifier can also be used to check the appearance and sound of electrical power. If the recorder is connected to an audio amplifier, you may hear a snowflake on the tin roof as you contract your muscles.

After the procedure

After testing, the electrodes are removed. You may be given pain relievers. Warm compresses can be placed on the affected area immediately after the test.

Some muscle aches last a day or more after the test. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms at the injection sites:

  • Increased pain
  • Sensitivity
  • Inflammation
  • Pus

Your healthcare provider may give you other instructions after the test based on your specific situation.

Risks factors of electromyography

Both EMG and NCS are at low risk. With EMG, there is a risk of infection or bleeding where the electrodes are inserted. 7 If you are taking anticoagulants (blood thinners) or have hemophilia, inform the neurologist who performs this procedure in advance. A disorder that prevents blood from clotting.

If you are testing the chest muscles with EMG, there is a small risk of air entering the space between the chest wall and the lungs, causing pneumothorax (lung collapse).

If you have NCS, tell your neurologist ahead of time if you have a pacemaker or cardiac defibrillator because you are about to receive mild electrical shocks. Care must be taken in this case.


Your doctor can review the results with you after the procedure. However, if another healthcare provider requests an EMG, you may not know the results until you schedule your next appointment with your doctor.

If your EMG shows any electrical activity in your muscles at rest, you may have:

  • Muscle disorder
  • A disorder that affects the nerves that connect to the muscle.
  • Inflammation from injury
  • If your EMG shows abnormal electrical activity during muscle contraction, you may have a neurological disorder such as a herniated disc or ALS, or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Depending on your results, your doctor may discuss additional tests or treatments with you.


Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA, DXA) | Orthopaedics

What is a bone density scan (DEXA, DXA)?

Bone density test, also called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) or bone density measurement, is an improved form of X-ray technology used to measure bone loss. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the standard in force today for measuring bone mineral density (BMD).

X-ray (radiography) is a non-invasive medical test that helps doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions. X-ray imaging involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce images inside the body. X-rays are the oldest and most widely used form of medical imaging.

Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is nearly often performed on the lower spine and hips. In children and some adults, the whole body is sometimes examined. Peripheral devices that use X-rays or ultrasound are sometimes used to detect a low bone mass, mostly in the forearm. In some societies, CT may also be used with special software to diagnose or monitor low bone mass (QCT). This is accurate but is less frequently used than the DXA scan.

How the dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry is performed?

A bone density test can be done in several ways. The most common and accurate method uses dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scanning. DEXA uses a low-dose X-ray. (She receives more radiation from a chest X-ray.)

There are two types of Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) assays:

  • Central DEXA: You lie on a soft table. The scanner passes over the lower part of the spine and the hip. In most cases, you do not need to take off your clothes. This scan is the best test for predicting the risk of developing a fracture, especially of the hip.
  • Peripheral DEXA (p-DEXA): These smaller devices measure the density of the bone in your wrist, fingers, leg, or heel. These machines are found in health care offices, pharmacies, malls, and health fairs.

How to prepare for the dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry?

  • If you are or could be pregnant, tell your provider before having this test. Do not take calcium supplements for 24 hours before the test.
  • You will be required to remove all metal items from your body, such as jewellery and buckles.

Who interprets the results and how will I get them?

A radiologist, a physician specially trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, analyzes the images and sends a signed report to your primary care or referring physician, who will discuss the results with you.

Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans are also interpreted by other doctors such as rheumatologists and endocrinologists. A physician should review your DXA scan while evaluating the presence of clinical risk factors such as:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Chronic renal and liver disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Your test results will be in two degrees:

  • T score: This number shows the amount of bone that I compared a young adult of the same sex with a peak bone mass. A grade of -1 and above is considered normal. A score between -1.1 and -2.4 is classified as osteopenia (low bone mass). A score of -2.5 and below is known as osteoporosis. The T score is used to estimate your risk of a fracture and also to determine whether treatment is required.
  • Z score: This number reflects the amount of bone that you compared with other people of your age group and the same size and sex. If this score is unusually high or low, it may indicate the need for further medical tests.

Small changes are usually noticed between scans due to differences in positioning and are usually insignificant.

Risks of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry

Bone mineral density uses a small amount of radiation. Most experts feel the risk is very low compared to the benefits of detecting osteoporosis before a bone is broken.