DEXA scans come in two types, the p-DEXA and the central DEXA:
- The “p” stands for “peripheral.” This scan measures bones on the body’s periphery—meaning areas away from the center of the body—such as the heel, wrist, or finger.
- This type of bone density test is often offered at malls and health fairs. However, p-DEXA results should not be used for diagnosis or tracking progress from year to year. These tests are good screening tools and can indicate whether or not you are at high risk and should get a central DEXA scan.
- The central DEXA measures bone density in the center of the body—in the spine and hip. People are most likely to experience low bone density in these areas, and they are where low bone density is most dangerous and debilitating.
- These scans can provide an accurate diagnosis and method of tracking your progress from year to year.