Dexa Scan: I am wondering if anybody can help me... - PMRGCAuk


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Dexa Scan


I am wondering if anybody can help me translate the results of my Dexa scan carried out two weeks ago.

I have been on Prednisolone now for three years and am down to 5mg. I am 73.

I referred myself for a Dexa scan in 2016 and again this month to see if there had been any significant change in two years. It states that 'overall density has decreased by 7.3% since previous scan' but I don't know if that is significant or not.

It says...……………." The Lumbar spine was assessed on our Lunar Prodigy Advance machine.

Overall lumbar spine density is 1.23 g/cm2 which is in the high normal range by WHO criteria (T-score 0.5). 1.7 standard deviations above the mean for age. Overall density has decreased by 7.3% since previous scan. There is variation between lumbar levels but all are well within the normal range. The scanogram shows evidence of degeneration at multiple levels and measured bone density is likely to be artificially high as a result of this.

The hips could not be assessed due to joint replacements ".

I have osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis so the reference to degeneration is of no surprise.

There are a lot of figures and diagrams with the report the "Conclusion" being ...… " Measured lumbar spine density remains in the high normal range but is likely to be over estimated due to degenerative change ".

Thanks for reading

5 Replies

Interpretation of these results ought to be part of the package. I would take it to your GP as well as any advice you get on here. All I retained was “ you have the bones of a 30 year old”. I go for another one soon. I wonder if they’ve aged 60 years?

Wenben in reply to SheffieldJane

Thankyou - yes I will take it when I see her next. Just wondered if I need to be worried about this latest result. The wording sounds contradictory to me.

It's just that I have learned, with the help of this site, to manage my PMR myself. GP (like many others) thinks it lasts for two years and I should be off steroids. Bloods OK therefore everything fine !! With regard to steroids - being 'psychologically dependent' has been mentioned in the past so have lost faith a little bit.

SheffieldJane in reply to Wenben

What tosh Weben we all long to be off steroids. I hate all the guilt some doctors put on their patients.


You have the bone density of a considerably younger woman, well up in the normal range - but it is possible that the high readings may be due to the deterioration/wear and tear. That COULD be the cause of the 7.3% increase.

I don't think you need to worry - there is no reason for them to make a fuss about alendonic acid!

And one thing you won't be suffering is a NOFF - you have metal ones!!!

Wenben in reply to PMRpro

Thankyou - that is reassuring.

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