FAQs for DXA Body Composition Testing (BCT)
The assessment goal in the treatment of bariatric patients is primarily to demonstrate a decrease in body fat while preserving lean body mass and bone density. BMI measurement while useful is not the most accurate evaluation of lean mass versus fat mass. BCT provides a methodology for monitoring all three body components (bone, lean, and fat) in the course of bariatric intervention.
DXA BCT is also extremely valuable for any person interested in evaluating their body composition from a wellness point of view as well as for serious athletes. In athletes, serial testing can help monitor and direct training programs to achieve the desired training results. The ability to monitor lean and fat mass in both the extremities as well as the central core is useful in the management of those undergoing serious training.
The examination (BCT testing) is administered by a radiologic technologist under the supervision of a physician. It employs the same technology as utilized for a bone density scan. It is a painless examination using low-dose x-ray. The estimated radiation dose is less than typical background radiation or five micro Sieverts. The scan time is no longer than 10 minutes and requires the individual to remain still for that period of time. The urinary bladder is empty prior to the examination and the patient’s weight is taken and height is recorded.
Upon completion of the examination, the patient is given a color printed output including visual demonstration of all three tissue components along with numerical measurements. If a patient has an ordering physician, they will also receive a copy of their test results.
BCT is currently not covered by any health insurance plan.
If the examination is done in conjunction with a physician ordered DXA examination, the additional scanning that will include all body composition measurements can be performed with a payment of $40 at the time of registration.
For self referred individuals who may be interested in their body composition for a wellness assessment, evaluation for a potential disease such as anorexia or obesity, want a determination of cardiovascular risk, or may be engaged in an athletic/training regimen, the cost is $75 for the examination.
For those who believe they may want serial testing for monitoring progress for a disease intervention or athletic training, a series of four (4) scans to be utilized within a 24 month period can be purchased in advance for a cost of $220.
BCT output is detailed and complete. It will provide you with information about your lean and fat mass within the various compartments of your body, visceral fat measurements and percentile ranking of where one is for both age matched controls and compared to young “normals”.
Those undergoing serial testing will have multiple results identified on those serial exams that give both pictorial and numeric data as to the progress of their training and/or interventions. This information will also be useful for your physician, personal trainer, physical therapist or nutritionist.
Pueblo Radiology will provide general information about the data presented in these reports at our website under the Body Composition Testing section. This will guide you in the understanding of the information presented. This examination does not include any physician consultation, recommendations for specific treatment or nutritional guidance.