Difference Between Bone Scan and Bone Density Scan

A bone browse is an imaging test that examines os for irregularities that could indicate infection or cancer. A bone density examination specifically looks at the density of os and evaluates how likely a person is to develop osteoporosis.

What is Os Scan?


A bone scan, or bone scintigraphy, is used to describe an imaging technique in which bone is examined to look for pathological weather condition.

Purpose of a bone scan:

A bone browse is done to check for possible infection or cancer in the bone tissue. It can also be completed to look for fractures and arthritis.

Procedure for a bone scan:

A bone scan is categorized every bit a nuclear medicine method considering it involves a small corporeality of radiation inbound the body. A radioactive tracer is first injected into the person. A few hours later the person volition and then have their body scanned with a device designed to detect the radioactive material. The tracer tin evidence abnormalities on the browse that could indicate a bone trouble. A score below -1 but non at -2.5 ways osteopenia. Osteoporosis is when the score is -ii.5 and worse.


A big benefit of a bone scan is that it is a sensitive examination. It can discover very small irregularities in the bone that may not be evident on a regular Ten-ray. This means that a defect in the bone acquired by cancer or infection is more than likely to be detected if yous accept a bone scan than a full general X-ray.


Bone scans utilise radioactive chemicals as tracers. The problem with this is that it does expose a person to radiation, although at a low level. The other issue is that some people may accept an allergic reaction to the radiation in the tracer.

What is Bone Density Scan?


A bone density scan is also called a dual free energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and is a test done to look at the density of the bone tissue.

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Purpose of a os density scan:

A bone density browse is done to wait at how dumbo your bone tissue is. The scan is done to evaluate a person’s risk of getting osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is porous basic, which makes a person probable to suspension a bone.

Procedure for a bone density scan:

The DEXA is similar to an X-ray and you prevarication on a table. The machine, though, uses two unlike types of 10-ray beams. It produces both a high-energy and a low-energy X-ray axle. The idea is to mensurate how well the rays pass through the bone so as to estimate the density of the tissue.


The bone density test is useful for looking at how dense bone tissue is. Information technology also uses very footling radiations.


There is variation in the values obtained from unlike DEXA machines.

Difference between Os Scan and Bone Density Scan


A os scan is a scan of bone to wait for problems like cancer or infection. A bone density scan is imaging done to look at the density of the os.


The purpose of a os scan is to cheque for bug like infection and cancer. The purpose of a os density scan is to expect at the density of bone and assess the risk of osteoporosis.


With a bone scan, a radioactive tracer is injected into the person and and then the scan done. With a bone density scan, both low-energy and loftier-energy X-ray beams are used.


A bone scan is sensitive to fifty-fifty pocket-size changes in os tissue that can allow rapid detection of problems like bone cancer or infection. A os density scan is quick and does not use radioactive tracers.

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A drawback of a os scan is it uses radioactive tracers that people may be allergic to. A drawback of a bone density scan is that DEXA machines are not all standardized.

Tabular array comparing Bone Scan and Bone Density Scan

Summary of Os Browse Vs. Bone Density Browse

  • A bone browse and os density scan are both normally used imaging techniques.
  • A bone scan is a exam to expect for problems like fractures, infections, or bone cancer.
  • A bone density browse is used to look at the level of mineral density in bones and to assess a person’south adventure of osteopenia and osteoporosis.


Does a os scan show bone density?

A bone scan does not accurately show os density. This is why a os density examination is recommended when the physician is interested in seeing how thick the bones are.

What is the difference betwixt bone density and os quality?

Bone density is how thick bone is while os quality refers to attributes of os that are separate from bone density.

Which scan is best for bone?

The type of scan that is best depends on what is being diagnosed. For bone cancer and os infection a bone browse is best while for os density a DEXA scan is best.

Why would a doctor order a bone scan?

A bone scan is ordered when a medico suspects something is incorrect and a patient has symptoms such as pain in the bone. It is also possible that a person who was previously diagnosed with cancer may have metastases that have spread into the skeleton. A scan can show if this has happened.

How accurate are bone density scans?

Bone density scans have a high accuracy allowing doctors to determine what corporeality of bone loss has occurred and if the person has osteopenia or osteoporosis.

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