Bone densitometry, or bone mineral density scanning, is a test that helps to estimate the density of the bone by measuring the amount of mineral matter per square centimeter of bone.
Bone density is used as an indirect indicator of osteoporosis and fracture risk. Reduced bone mineral density can be seen in osteoporosis, a condition characterised by brittle bones.
Bone densitometry is a quick and non-invasive screening test, using a low dose of radiation.
At Beacon Hospital, bone mineral densitometry is commonly performed on the spine and hip and sometimes over the wrist in the diagnosis of osteoporosis and osteopaenia (which may be a precursor of osteoporosis).