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Everything You Want to Know About Bone Densitometers

Posted by Alex Silbergleit on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 @ 11:09 AM

Have you had a bone scan done to measure bone density and fracture risk? If so, then you probably know what a bone densitometer is. It’s a specific kind of x-ray system that uses two x-ray beams to measure the calcium content of bone to reflect bone density and bone fracture risk. Each x-ray beam has a different energy level that’s aimed at the patient’s bones. The soft tissue absorption is subtracted, and then the Body Mineral Density (BMD) can be determined from the absorption of each beam by bone. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry is the most popular bone density measurement technology used.


It’s also called a DXA or DEXA (Dual-energy x-ray Absorptiometry) scan, which uses a small amount of x-ray to measure the amount of mineral in the bones. DEXA is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that involves a gradual loss of calcium, as well as structural changes causing the bones to become thinner and more fragile. This can result in scary skeleton breaks.

The DXA test can also assess a patient’s risk for developing fractures and tracking effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss. The risk of fracture is affected by age, body weight, history of prior fracture, family history of osteoporotic fractures and life style choices, such as smoking and drinking extreme amounts of alcohol.

If an older patient has lost more than an inch of height or has unexplained back pain, oftentimes a Lateral Vertebral Assessment (LVA) is ideal. It’s a low dose x-ray examination of the spine to screen for vertebral fractures.

The Elderly and Bone Densitometer Scans

Most people think that their bones are static and don’t change, but the truth is that they are constantly in flux. Specialized cells in the body are busy destroying old bits of bone and replacing them with new bone. But as people age, they lose bone faster than they can replace it and end up with brittle and porous bones. That’s why it’s so easy for elders to fracture a spine or hip, which can lead to chronic pain, deformity, disability, depression and even death. A Bone Densitometer scan will let patients know if they have a propensity for brittle bones.

Our Aging Population

Everyone knows that Baby Boomers represent the largest segment of American population. As they age, there will be more and more need for scans with a Bone Densitometer. This presents a great opportunity for healthcare clinics, hospitals, facilities and practices. The good news is, you don’t have to run out and buy a new one. There are lots of used and refurbished Bone Densitometers on the market—and most come with impressive warranties, as well.

Here are a few of the refurbished Bone Densitometers on the Market:

General Electric (GE)

  • Lunar Prodigy -Advanced Fan-Beam Technology. This system can scan AP Spine, Total Body, Femur, Dual Femur and Lateral Vertebral Assessment (LVA). LVA allows physicians to assess the presence of vertebral fractures with the high resolution image of the lateral spine.
  • Lunar Prodigy Advanced – Utilizing direct-digital detector technology, Lunar Prodigy Pro™ delivers rapid scans, near radiographic imaging and dose efficiency three to five time better than existing fan beam systems.
  • Lunar DPX Bravo- The full-function DPX Bravo Bone Densitometer gives you a powerful diagnostic in a highly compact footprint. Lunar DPX Bravo is a SmartBeam™ platform providing high-performance scanning and clinical utility.
  • Lunar DPX Duo – This is the world’s First DEXAM Bone Densitometer. Lunar DPX Duo is a SmartBeam platform providing high-performance scanning and clinical utility. You get measurements of the two most vital clinical sites – spine and femur – in seconds, and at a low radiation dose.


  • Discovery Series Hologic –This is the most advanced QDR Series bone densitometer combines the proven clinical value of bone mineral density (BMD) measurement and vertebral assessment with Express BMD the most rapid means of acquiring accurate results.
  • QDR 4500 - The QDR 4500 ACCLAIM family of bone densitometers consists of four modular systems, offers rapid scanning and high-resolution imaging using the latest available fan beam and high-density, solid-state multi-detector array technology.
  • QDR 4500 Elite - The QDR 4500 Elite Bone Densitometer combines the superiority of fan-beam technology with a unique, value-added package of clinical, patient reporting and support software. It delivers high-performance imaging and bone density measurement with unsurpassed precision and low patient dose.
  • Delphi QDR- This system offers Anthropomorphic Spine Phantom, Superior BMD measurement, Instant Vertebral Assessment, Image Pro™ advanced digital imaging processing and e-Reporting.

If your practice, clinic, hospital or facility is in the market for a Bone Densitometer, it’s easy to get the one you want, at a price that’s more affordable than you might think. By purchasing a used or refurbished Bone Densitometer, you get the technology you want, as well as a great warranty and service policy, for a much lower cost. And while “new” is nice, you’ll find the savings is even more attractive. Call Alex Silbergleit at  212-366-9100 or email  for more information.

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About the author: Alex Silbergleit

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Topics: Buying Imaging Equipment, Used Medical Imaging Equipment, Bone Densitometer