Who is best trained to read DEXA scans?

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Question from Ann: There are many places to get DEXA scans. In some places the scans are read by radiologists, other places by gynecologists and interns. Who is best trained to read your DEXA scan? There seems to be a lot of competition for our dollars.
Answers - Marisa Weiss, M.D. In general DEXA scans are done within the radiology department. The quick scan of a hand, foot or ankle is the type of test that is often done in a gynecologist's office. In my experience, radiologists and a computerized program that they work with usually interpret and issue a report on the DEXA scan result. Then your doctor takes that information and compares it to the prior DEXA scan result and pulls in other information that may be useful.
Charles Shapiro In each community there's a doctor more experienced with DEXA scans who may serve as the local expert, and women should ask their doctors if they know who the experts are in their area.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Keeping Your Bones Strong featured Charles L. Shapiro, M.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about how to measure the strength of your bones, how to find out your risk for osteoporosis, and what you can do to lower that risk.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in August 2002.

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