Bone Density (QCT)
QCT is a fast, non-invasive bone mineral density (BMD) exam performed on a CT scanner. It allows us to look for low bone mass and monitor the effects of bone mass therapy in patients undergoing treatment.
While you are exposed to radiation during a CT exam, the benefits of CT typically outweigh the long-term risks.
A bone density test should be considered:
- If you’re postmenopausal and at risk of osteoporosis
- To assess your response to osteoporosis medications
- If you have a condition called “primary hyperparathyroidism”
- If you have certain spinal abnormalities that might indicate a fracture
- If you’re on long-term corticosteroid therapy, such as Prednisone
- If you have had a history of fractures caused by Osteoporosis
What To Expect
- We’ll give you a call before your appointment to talk through preparation instructions and your past imaging exams.
- Be sure to tell us if you are pregnant, nursing, or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
- On the day of your exam, please arrive 15 minutes early for check-in.
- When you arrive, you will be led to a changing room and given a pair of scrubs to wear for your exam. You will be given a locker to store your clothes, and anything else you may have with you during your exam.
- The technologist will help position you onto the scanner table.
- Once you are comfortably positioned, the technologist will go out of the room to run the scanner from a computer located directly next to the scanner suite, visible through the viewing window. The technologist will communicate with you throughout the exam and check to see how you are doing.
- During the exam, both your spine and hip are scanned, as bone mineralization is not uniform throughout your body.
- QCT is unique in that it can isolate the soft bone in the spine for analysis. The soft bone (trabecular bone) is affected earlier than the hard bone (Cortical bone), so QCT is likely to detect low bone mass earlier than other bone mineral density exams.
- When your scan is complete, you’ll be escorted back to the changing room so you can change out of the scrubs and back into your clothing.
- Once you have changed, your appointment is complete. You do not need to check out with the front desk when you leave.
- After the exam, your images will be sent electronically to one of our radiologists. This radiologist will review the information and send a report to your referring provider, typically within one to two business days.
- You should follow up with your referring provider to discuss your results.