TESTS: Bone mineral density (BMD) or DEXA scans

Bone mineral density (BMD) testing -- as performed in dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) -- measures the demineralization of the bones. This has become the gold standard for evaluation for osteoporosis. The cost for DEXA scans run $200 - $300; but most insurance plans cover them. Anyone taking prednisone ( corticosteroids ) should be tested at least every one or two years; however, early on a patient should have a baseline bone-density test due to the rapid bone loss that takes place the first two years of steroid use.


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