Tulare’s hi-tech x-ray is low on radiation

State-of-the-art bone density technology has arrived at Tulare Regional Medical Center that allows physicians to more quickly and safely diagnose osteoporosis and other conditions that can lead to bone loss in patients.

The dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, or DXA, is a highly efficient technology that utilizes a lower dosage of radiation, less than one tenth of the dose of a standard chest x-ray. The 15- to 20-minute exam is performed on an out-patient basis at the Family X-Ray Center located at 880 E. Merritt Ave., Suite 106, in Tulare.

The DXA machine sends a thin beam of low-dose x-rays with two distinct energy peaks through the bones being examined. One peak is absorbed by soft tissue and the other by bone. The difference between the two is a measure of the patient’s bone density.

“This new technology is a wonderful complement to our rapidly growing repertoire of enhanced health care services that ensure the highest level of care for our patients,” said Duane Iwamura, Director of Medical Imaging for HCCA/Tulare Regional Medical Center.

The DXA machine features a padded platform for the patient to lie down on while the machine performs the scan. Most commonly, the lumbar spine and the hips are examined.

Bone density testing is highly recommended for post-menopausal women not taking estrogen, anyone with a family history of clinical conditions associated with bone loss, and those taking medications that contribute to bone loss.

The DXA was acquired for the hospital by the Tulare Hospital Foundation, the district’s fundraising and charitable arm of the hospital.

Iwamura encourages individuals to call HCCA/TRMC’s Family X-Ray Center at (559) 685-3840 for more information on getting a bone density examination.

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