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Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD)

Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD) - What it is

BMD is a simple X-ray procedure that uses low dose X-rays and a camera to measure the bone mineral content. It is used to estimate bone strength and the risk of bone fractures. The hips, spine or the wrist are the usual sites of fracture.

BMD is generally used to detect osteoporosis in adults, and certain bony abnormalities in children.

Osteoporosis is associated with increased bone fragility and susceptibility to fractures. It occurs commonly in adults who are 70 years old and above as well as menopausal women.

What to expect during the examination?
Please empty your bladder before the procedure.

You will be required to change into a hospital gown and lie on the X-ray couch throughout the examination. The procedure takes about 30 minutes to complete.

What is the radiation dose?
The radiation dose you will receive is small. As such, there are no side effects from the radiation.

Do I need to be admitted?
The examination does not usually require hospital admission. It can be performed on an outpatient basis.

If you are admitted to the Hospital on the appointment day for other reasons, please inform the ward staff to contact the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging about your BMD appointment.

* Do note that an Excuse Sheet will be given upon request. Medical Certificate (MC) will not be issued for this procedure.

​1. If you are or suspect that you are pregnant, please inform the doctor or radiographer.
​2. The following factors may affect your BMD results. Please
  • DO NOT take calcium tablets for 24 hours before your BMD appointment.
  • DO NOT have a Nuclear Medicine scan 48 hours before your BMD appointment; and
  • DO NOT have an X-ray examination with barium (eg. barium swallow / meal / enema), or an injection of a dye or contrast (eg. CT scan), within the week of your BMD appointment.
Otherwise, please obtain a new appointment.
​3. Eat a normal diet on the day of the test.
​4. Please bring the BMD request form when you come for your appointment. Your appointment may be delayed if the form is not available when you register.
5. Please bring along all previous X-ray films (especially those of the spine or hips).​
6. Please do not carry any valuables, (eg. jewellery or excessive cash) with you during your appointment.​
7. An appropriate interval for routine follow-up BMD is about 12 to 24 months. You may need to postpone your BMD appointment if your last test was less than 12 months ago.​
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Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD) - Symptoms

Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD) - How to prevent?

Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD) - Causes and Risk Factors

Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD) - Diagnosis

Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD) - Treatments

Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD) - Preparing for surgery

Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD) - Post-surgery care

Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD) - Other Information

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