If you had the opportunity to have a bone density
test that is 30 percent more accurate and takes a third of the time
as a traditional bone density test, wouldn’t you jump at the
The opportunity has arrived, in the form of QCT Bone Densitometry,
a bone density test that is run on the CT scanner at Dominican
Health Services in Fruitland.
Bone density tests are requested by physicians when they have reason
to believe a patient’s bones may be breaking down, typically
as a result of age. The test measures how dense your bones are,
which is an indication of how strong they are.
The new QCT test at Dominican Health Services takes only 10 minutes,
and it is quite accurate, according to Radiology Technician Noa
Towner of DHS.
Because this is done on a CT scanner, it takes the potential for
human error out of the equation,” Towner said. “It is
all done on the computer.” The traditional test, she said,
sends a beam of radiation through the body, which is read out the
back. “Anything in the beam’s path that is calcium is
read,” she said. The test reads only in one dimension, and
has a 30 percent margin of error.
The QCT test, however, provides a three-dimensional look at the spinal
trabecular bone. “It looks at the patient as if they were
sliced in half – like a loaf of bread,” Towner said. “You
see the spine in cross-section, and take a reading of the backbone – the
core of the bone.”
The CT scanner has been in operation at DHS for several years, but
the QCT software has only been up and running since April. In that
time, Towner said, more than 70 patients have had the test.
The doctors like it better, because it’s more accurate,” she
said. In addition, some insurance companies reimburse better for
the QCT than the traditional test, because it is more accurate.
People who are at higher risk for osteoporosis include post-menopausal
women, people who have Cushing’s syndrome and diabetes, take
thyroid medications or corticosteroids, people who have a family
history of osteoporosis, have a diet low in dairy products or other
calcium sources, or who smoke, drink heavily or don’t exercise
a phone number for any hospital department
of Privacy Practices:
Notice of Privacy Practices
U.S. Department of Health & Human
Privacy - National Standards to Protect the Privacy of Personal