As children grow, their bones grow and develop too. Bone development can be adversely affected due to diet, exercise, a person's hereditary genes and other medical conditions.

One of the most common tools used to measure bone density, is called a DEXA scanner, or more formally called a Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry scanner, which Children's - St. Paul's radiology department now provides.

Using an x-ray procedure, the DEXA scanner helps determine the strength of the patient's bones by measuring their bone density. Other means of assessing bone strength are also available but a DEXA scan is currently the most accurate method and it uses the lowest amount of radiation for a pediatric bone scan.

The ins and outs of Children's new DEXA scanner

  • Direct referrals to Children's radiology department accepted. A separate order is required.
  • All scans are read by a Children's pediatric radiologist with specialized training in DEXA scanning.
  • DEXA scanner operated by American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certified technologists.
  • Coordinated, pediatric focused care – all in one location – with sedation capabilities when needed.
  • Hours of operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

DEXA scan appointments can be scheduled at Children's - St. Paul by calling centralized scheduling,

(612) 874-5399.

The technology

  • Is three to five times more efficient radiation doses compared to other systems.
  • Is the first system designed to look beyond bone mineral density.
  • Detects subtle bone changes in a variety of clinical applications.
  • Delivers rapid scans and near radiographic imaging.