Bone mineral density test - Results
BMD test; Bone density test; Bone densitometry; DEXA scan; DXA; Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry; p-DEXA
The results of your test are usually reported as a "T score" and "Z score."
- The T score compares your bone density with that of healthy young women.
- The Z score compares your bone density with that of other people of your age, gender, and race.
In either score, a negative number means you have thinner bones than the standard. The more negative the number, the higher your risk of a bone fracture.
A T score is within the normal range if it is -1.0 or above.
What abnormal results mean:
Bone mineral density testing does not diagnose fractures. However, along with other risk factors you may have, it helps predict your risk of having a bone fracture in the future. Your doctor will help you understand the results.
- A T score between -1 and -2.5 indicates the beginning of bone loss (osteopenia).
- A T score below -2.5 indicates osteoporosis.
Treatment recommendations depend on your total fracture risk.
- Reviewed last on: 12/22/2010
- Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Lim LS, Hoeksema LJ, Sherin K; ACPM Prevention Practice Committee. Screening for osteoporosis in the adult U.S. population: ACPM position statement on preventive practice. Am J Prev Med. 2009;36:366-375.
National Osteoporosis Foundation. Clinician's Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis. Washington, D.C.: National Osteoporosis Foundation; 2008.
Nelson HD, Haney EM, Dana T, Bougatsos C, Chou R. Screening for osteoporosis: an update for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2010;153:99-111.
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