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What is the full form of BMD

BMD: Bone Mineral Density

BMD stands for Bone Mineral Density. It refers to an X-ray test that measures the density of minerals in your bones, e.g., bone density. It shows how many grams of calcium and other minerals are packed per unit volume of your bone. This test indicates the strength and health of your bones. Usually, people who are at risk of osteopenia (mild bone loss) and osteoporosis (severe bone loss) undergo this test.

Thus, the BMD test is performed to:

  • To identify a decrease in bone density before you get a bone fracture
  • To diagnose osteoporosis
  • To monitor osteoporosis treatment
Fullform BMD

How is MDT Performed?

Typically, the spine, hip, and forearm bones are examined during the examination. These bones are most prone to shattering when you have osteoporosis. It is a painless, non-invasive procedure that requires no medication. It involves low radiation exposure and you are required to lie on a bench or table during the test. There are two types of bone density scans:

  • Central DXA: In this scan, an X-ray machine scans your spine, hip and other bones in your torso.
    You lie down on a cushioned surface during the test, while fully dressed. A mechanical arm hovers over you, passing low-dose X-rays through your body. A representation of your skeleton is created depending on how much the X-rays alter after travelling through your bones. This examination takes around 10 minutes.
    An expert is given the picture and reads the outcomes. Depending on your doctor's office, this can take a few days.
  • Peripheral DXA: In this scan, an X-ray machine scans the bones of the forearm, wrist, fingers or heel.
    Since the equipment is portable, it may be taken to pharmacies and health camps. More people who might not be able to get the central DXA test can now get the test as a result.
    Peripheral tests are another method of screening people, allowing those who have a higher risk of osteoporosis to undergo additional testing. They are also used for larger individuals who are unable to receive central DXA due to weight restrictions.

Understanding BDT Results:

BDT results are reported as T-scores. A T-score is a comparison of your bone density with the bone density of a 30-year old healthy person. So, it indicates how much your bone density is higher or lower than the bone density of a healthy 30-year old person.

  • T-score between 1 and -1: Normal bone density
  • T-score between -1 and -2.5: Low bone density (osteopenia)
  • T-score of -2.5 or below, e.g. -2.6, -3.2 indicates Osteoporosis

Furthermore, a BMD test is recommended by a doctor as preventive screening for bone density under the following conditions:

  • An X-ray showing bone loss in your spine
  • Back pain with a possible break or bone loss in your spine
  • Height decreases by half or more inch within one year
  • Long-term use of steroids that may lower bone density
  • After an organ or bone marrow transplant as anti-rejection drugs may affect the bone-rebuilding process
  • Postmenopausal women at the age of 50 or more
  • All women over the age of 65 as they are more prone to fractures

How to Get Ready for the Test

  • Before this test is performed, let your provider know if you are or think you could be pregnant.
  • Take calcium supplements up to 24 hours before the test, but not after.
  • You'll be instructed to take off any buckles and jewellery that is made of metal from your body.

The Experience of the Test

The scan doesn't hurt at all. Throughout the test, you must maintain stillness.


The measurement of bone mineral density involves a modest quantity of radiation. The majority of experts agree that the danger is extremely low when weighed against the advantages of detecting osteoporosis before breaking a bone.

How Frequently Should I Get Tested?

Expect to undergo a bone density test every one to two years if you are on medication for osteoporosis.

Your doctor might recommend getting a bone density test every two years, even if you don't have osteoporosis, especially for women who are going through or have recently come out of menopause.

Other names

Other names for the BMD test include bone density test, bone densitometry, DEXA scan, DXA, p-DEXA, osteoporosis-BMD, and dual x-ray absorptiometry.

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