What is a DEXA Scan?

Bone densitometry, often referred to as dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry or DEXA, is a diagnostic technique that generates images of the body’s internal structures to determine body fat, body composition, muscle mass and bone density. This non-invasive procedure is the gold standard in helping identify and diagnose osteoporosis, and is essential in the management and prevention of osteoporotic fractures.

DEXA scans are also utilized by athletes, body builders and everyday individuals that are physically active and looking to monitor their overall body composition and general health. DXA provides valuable insight about an individuals body fat, muscle and protein mass, and overall body composition, which is resourceful for anyone going through a body transformation or looking to enhance their physical performance. Due to its simplicity, speed, accuracy and affordability, DXA is a valuable diagnostic tool.

What Information Does DXA Provide?​

Total Body Fat Percentage (%BF)
The level of body fat is subject to alteration based on various factors, such as an individual's muscle and adipose tissue composition. Body fat typically decreases as lean mass increases. Depending on what your fitness or health goals are, this is a useful metric to track your athletic progress and overall health.
Fat Mass Index
FMI is an individual's total body fat relative to their height and overall body size. Fat mass ratio is represented by amount of body fat (kg) per square meter of height (m^2). FMI is effective in quantifying an individual's fat mass in proportion to their overall size, regardless of lean body mass. DXA quantifies the amount of fat in each body region (Arms, Legs, Trunk, Android, Gynoid) as well as where it's distribution throughout specific tissues.
Visceral Adipose Tissue (VAT)
Visceral Adipose Tissue (VAT) is a hormonally active indicator of total body fat. VAT is an expression of the amount of internal abdominal fat surrounding the organs, unlike subcutaneous fat that is located underneath the skin. Clinically, high levels of VAT are correlated with increased risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. The most significant way to reduce VAT is exercise followed by diet induced weight loss. Although diet and exercise work synergistically to reduce VAT, diet induced weight loss has a greater impact total body weight loss.
Android to Gynoid Ratio
The Android to Gynoid Ratio measures the distribution of fat in the body. If you have more fat in and around your mid-section, you have an android shape, while more fat stored around your hips indicate a gynoid shape. A higher number indicates a more android shape and a lower number a more gynoid shape. Health-wise, having ideal values means having an Android to Gynoid Ratio of less than 0.8 for women and 1.0 for men.
Fat Free Mass Index (FFMI)
The amount of weight that is not fat, compared to your height. It includes your muscles, bones, organs and connective tissues. It helps measure muscle mass.
Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)
RMR values suggest how many calories are needed to maintain an individual's current mass while at rest. DXA scan estimates are based on tissue-specific metabolic rates, an individual's body size and composition, and the composition of different tissues throughout the body. RMR represents a person's characteristic caloric intake requirements at rest to maintain their same composition.
Bone Density
Bone density is a critical parameter that reflects the strength and resilience of the bones. Osteopenia and osteoporosis are health conditions that compromise bone density, rendering the bones fragile and susceptible to fractures. DXA scans specific bone structures throughout the body to provide details about composition and distribution. Values are then converted to different scoring metrics that help assess an individual's risk for osteoporosis and osteopenia.

How Much Does a DEXA Scan Cost?

The price for a DEXA scan at Saleh Muslah Medical Center is $99 if you book through DEXA Scan. However, if you book your appointment through our website and pay the fee online, the cost for the procedure is $75. Follow the link to schedule an appointment and checkout here: Book an Appointment.

Preparing for your Procedure

Here are some simple instructions to follow before your exam: Don’t take calcium supplements for 24 hours before your exam. Wear loose and comfortable clothes without metal buttons, belts or zippers. You also need to remove any metal objects such as keys, wallets, and jewelry before the exam. If you had any medical tests recently, inform your doctor so they can decide if you need to wait before undergoing the exam. If you are pregnant, make sure to tell your doctor so they can take precautions to minimize radiation exposure to the baby. It’s important to follow these instructions to ensure the exam runs smoothly and safely.