What is densitometry of the spine
Not all people suffering from spinal problems know,what is densitometry. This diagnostic method is used to determine the degree of bone loss. It is painless and relatively safe. And unlike x-ray, gives more accurate results. With the help of densitometry, it is possible to determine already 5% loss of bone mass and prevent complications.
Now the examination is carried out using ultrasonic waves or X-rays. Both of these methods help determine bone loss, but there are some differences between them.
- X-ray densitometry allows you to examine the entire spine. This method, otherwise called osteodensitometry, is considered the most informative. It allows you to obtain information about the density of bone tissue and the degree of its mineralization. Such a method has a high accuracy of results, but because of the presence of radiation it is not recommended to conduct more often than once a year.
- Ultrasonic densitometry or ultrasonometry is much safer and faster. But this method is less informative.
The diagnostic results determine the extent of bone mass loss
When you need to undergo such an examination
The development of osteoporosis is provoked by many factors. It is important to begin treatment on time to completely restore the bone tissue. It is the densitometry of the spine that determines the risk of developing the disease. Regularly, this examination should be performed by the following patients:
- for men over 60 years of age;
- for women after 45 years of age or at the onset of menopause;
- in case of a fracture without objective reasons;
- for patients with diseases of the spine;
- when taking hormonal medications, glucocorticosteroids and anticonvulsants;
- to people with endocrine diseases and rheumatoid arthritis;
- patients with osteoporosis to determine the effectiveness of treatment;
- people with a small height or low level of body mass index.
Diagnosis in these cases is carried out annually, and if there is a suspicion of osteoporosis - even more often. In women, the risk of calcium loss from bone tissue increases with age, especially after the onset of menopause.
How is the diagnosis of
The procedure is simple and takes only 10-20 minutes. Most often, an examination of the lumbar spine is performed to identify osteoporosis at an early stage. It is in this place that the skeleton experiences the greatest load, and deformation arises most often.
The procedure takes place with the help of special equipment, which is a table under which the emitter is placed. The patient lies on it, and above it is placed a sensor that transmits to the computer information about how the X-rays are absorbed by the bone tissue. If the spine is examined, the legs should be bent at the knees. Under them put a special stand. During the procedure it is advisable not to move.
During the procedure of densitometry, it is important to properly lie
What preparation is needed for
Densitometry is a painless procedure. A special preparation for it is not required. But if the patient is treated with calcium preparations, they should stop taking them one day before the examination. The procedure should come in loose clothing that does not have metal parts. Before the examination you need to remove all ornaments.
Contraindications to densitometry
Recently, ultrasound is more often used. It is safe and allows you to examine even children and pregnant women. The X-ray method is used to refine the diagnosis in case of suspected osteoporosis. It may not be performed in all patients. Contraindicated X-ray densitometry in the following cases:
- during pregnancy;
- for women during lactation;
- if there are metal implants;
- if radioisotope diagnosis or CT scan with contrast medium was performed within 5 days before.
It is also not recommended to conduct the examination if there is arthritis of the spine and recent fractures, as well as other conditions that prevent the patient from lying motionless on a solid surface for a long time.
Bone loss in osteoporosis
The device for densitometry contains information on the normal indicators of bone mineralization. After the diagnosis, two results are produced. Based on this, the doctor diagnoses and prescribes treatment.
- The first result is the T-test. It shows how much the density of the patient's tissue differs from that of a healthy person. At indices from +2 to -1, the mineralization of the skeleton is considered normal. If the result is below -2.5, this indicates the development of osteoporosis.
- The Z-criterion indicates the ratio of the patient's tissue density to the average in people of the same age and sex.
Densitometry of the spine has now become a popular method of preventing complications of osteoporosis. It can be done in any medical center, the cost of the examination is not very high - from 1200 to 4000 rubles. But it allows you to determine the presence of osteoporosis at an early stage and begin treatment on time.