Avoid excess bone density testing: intervals less than two years are rarely necessary.

Type of practice


Topic Area


DXA bone scan is the procedure of choice in the evaluation of bone density. Periodic standardized assessment is useful to monitor response to treatment, particularly in individuals at major risk of bone loss (e.g. patients on chronic steroid treatment). It is important to keep in mind that a) annual bone loss in post-menopausal women averages 0.5-2.0-% b) most available treatments increase bone density about 1-6% c) minimal detectable variation from baseline examination is 2-4%. Based on these considerations, and allowing for rare exceptions, a repeat DXA scan is justified only after 16-24 months from the beginning or change of treatment.


1. 2013 ISCD Officials Positions-adult http://www.iscd.org/official positions 2013.
2. Watts NB,BilezikianJP, Camacho PM et al American Association of Clinical Endocrinologist. Medical guidelines for Clinical Practice for the diagnosis and treatment of postmenopausal. Osteoporosis Endocr Pract 2010;16 suppl 3:1.



Attention. Please note that these items are provided only for information and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a clinician. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their clinician.