In providing this resource, please note this website is not providing medical advice. The sole purpose of this section is to provide a general overview of bone densitometry for patients and individuals who wish to improve their understanding of this technology: what it is, how it’s done and what the results mean. You should discuss your individual needs with your doctor or other healthcare provider. All medical decisions should be made by your doctor in consultation with you and any other relevant parties.
This depends on where you live. For some individuals there may be many options, while for others there may be few or none. Bone density testing is widely available in many countries and performed in many settings including hospitals, other healthcare imaging facilities, doctors’ offices, screening health fairs, pharmacies and sometimes as part of a mobile health unit. It is estimated that there are about 18,000 DXA machines in the United States. Some estimates show the number of DXA machines outside the United States to be about 18,000. Although travel, cost and convenience are important things to consider when making this decision, there are also technical issues to take into account so you get the best value for your money.
It is important that the operator of DXA machine is well trained in its proper use and that the person interpreting the results is knowledgeable in the field of bone densitometry. It is best if they are trained in its use in children. Obtaining and interpreting a pediatric DXA scan requires special expertise. Since March 2009, the ISCD has offered an annual Pediatric Bone Densitometry Course for clinicians and technologists.
One indicator that the technologist and clinician have received appropriate training in bone densitometry is to ask if they are ISCD Certified. You can also search the online ISCD Certification Registry to find a certified technologist (CDT or CBDT) or certified clinician (CCD) in your area. The ISCD Certification Registry lists participating certified individuals – Certified Clinical Densitometrist® (CCD), Certified Densitometry Technologist® (CDT) and Certified Bone Densitometry Technologist™ (CBDT). Individuals may choose not to be displayed in this listing. Evaluation of the credentials, qualifications and competence of a physician or technologist is the responsibility of the person referencing the registry.
Dr. Babette Zemel, PhD
Dr. Catherine M. Gordon, MD, CCD