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Understanding the Differences: CT Scans vs DeXA Scans

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In the realm of medical imaging, there’s a plethora of technologies each tailored for specific diagnostic purposes. Among these, CT scans and DEXA scans stand out due to their distinct functionalities and applications. While both are invaluable tools in diagnosing and managing various health conditions, understanding their differences is key for patients and healthcare providers alike.

What is a CT Scan?

These scans are advanced X-ray systems capable of producing detailed cross-sectional images of the body. They work by rotating an X-ray source and detectors around the patient, capturing multiple images from different angles. A computer then processes these images to create a detailed, 3D view of the internal structures.

CT scans are particularly useful for examining complex body parts such as the brain, chest, abdomen, and pelvis. They excel in detecting bone fractures, tumors, internal bleeding, and various diseases. The detailed imagery can assist in planning surgical procedures, guiding biopsies, and monitoring treatment progress.

The Role of DEXA Scans in Medical Imaging

DEXA scans, also known as bone densitometry, primarily measure bone mineral density. They use two different X-ray beams at varying energy levels to calculate bone density. This process is crucial in diagnosing osteoporosis and assessing an individual’s risk for fractures.

DEXA scans are non-invasive, quick, and provide precise measurements of bone density, particularly in the spine and hip. They are the gold standard for diagnosing osteoporosis and are instrumental in monitoring bone density changes over time, especially in postmenopausal women and older adults.

Comparing CT and DeXA Scans: A Side-by-Side Look

Here’s a list highlighting the main differences between CT and DEXA scans:

  • Purpose: CT scans are versatile and used for diagnosing a variety of conditions including injuries, tumors, and diseases. DEXA scans are specifically focused on assessing bone density and diagnosing osteoporosis.
  • Procedure: CT scans involve a rotating X-ray source that captures multiple images, resulting in detailed cross-sectional views. DEXA scans use two X-ray beams at different energies to measure bone density.
  • Duration and Comfort: CT scans take longer and may require the patient to hold still for extended periods. DEXA scans are typically quicker and more comfortable.
  • Radiation Exposure: CT scans generally expose patients to higher levels of radiation compared to DEXA scans.
  • Imaging Detail: CT scans provide highly detailed images of internal structures, useful for a wide range of diagnostic purposes. DEXA scans provide specific information about bone density.


Both CT and DEXA scans are powerful diagnostic tools, each with its unique purpose and strengths. Understanding their differences helps in making informed decisions about which scan is appropriate in various medical situations.

If you’re considering a medical imaging procedure for bone health assessment, Bodycomp Imaging is here to assist. We specialize in offering DEXA scans, renowned for their precision in measuring bone density and assessing osteoporosis risk. Our team provides expert guidance to ensure you make the best decision for your health.

Contact Us today to discover more about our DEXA scan services and how we can support you in your healthcare journey.



Mathew Maybee

As someone who’s needed help with getting their weight loss journey back on track, I had this place recommended by a friend and I’m so glad I did. I worked with Harmun to conduct the scan, and I found the process (along with the results) to be a really fantastic experience! It feels like unlocking a fitness cheat code to have this knowledge, and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s serious about getting their health in order!!


Two years in a row coming to see Harmun and he is amazing to work with. Very knowledgeable and personable. I am going every year now – maybe twice!

Shelly Gardiner

Fantastic information! Harmun was professional, very knowledgeable and explained all scan results in an easy to understand manner.

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