Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA)

Exam Forms

By logging in to Weill Cornell Connect, eCheck-In makes it easy to save time and complete all safety forms required for your upcoming appointment. 

Exam Preparation

Please notify our staff when scheduling and checking in for your appointment if any of the following apply to you:

  • If there is any possibility that you are pregnant or if you are currently breastfeeding.
  • If you need an interpreter to assist you with your native language.

What should I wear to my appointment?

Wearing the right clothing may eliminate the need for you to change into a gown prior to your exam.

  • Wear loungewear, pajamas, or loose-fitting cotton or linen clothing without metal embellishment. Metal can affect the quality of the images.
  • Do not wear clothing or undergarments with metal fasteners, zippers, hooks, under wires or other metal components.
  • Please leave items such as watches and jewelry at home.

What should I bring with me on the day of my appointment?

  • A copy of the prescription for your examination if it was given to you.
  • Your insurance information.
  • A list of your current medications.

What can I expect on the day of my appointment?

Patient verification is an important part of your safety and you will be asked to verify your identification and your exam several times during your appointment. Our check-in staff will review your completed registration forms with you.

For many exams you will not have to change into a gown unless you are wearing something that contains metal (see guidelines above).  Some exams do require that you are in a gown. You will be asked to remove and place your electronic devices, wallet, credit cards, metro card, watch, jewelry, belt, hairpins, eyeglasses, hearing aid, or any removable dental pieces into the provided lockers.

How is a DEXA performed?

  • You will be positioned on a table and very low-dose x-rays taken of specific regions of your body.
  • The test uses x-rays of different energies to calculate the density of your bones, typically of both the hip and the spine.
  • Upon completion, the technologist will escort you outside of the scanning room where you will retrieve your personal belongings and proceed to check-out.
Our staff is available to address any questions or concerns that you might have before, during, or after your appointment. Please call (212) 746-6000 if you wish to speak with us.


Health Library

Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA)

What is dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)?

DEXA, also known as DXA or bone density exam, uses a very small dose of x-rays to measure density of bones. These measurements are compared to normal values for patients of similar sex and age in order to assess whether or not there has been excessive bone loss or osteoporosis. This can predict a person’s risk of developing fractures. DEXA is also used to follow patients who are taking medication for osteoporosis in order to assess the effectiveness of the treatment(s).

DEXA is painless and requires no special preparation. You should let your technologist know if you are pregnant. You should also inform your technologist if you have had a recent barium exam, CT exam with contrast, or a nuclear medicine exam. You should also not take any calcium supplements for 24 hours prior to the examination.

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