Bone Density Unit

About the Service

We have a Bone Density Scanner at both Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals.


What is a Bone Density Scan (DXA)?

Bone density scanning, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) or bone densitometry, is a non invasive enhanced form of X ray technology that is used to measure bone loss. DXA is today’s established gold standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD) for the diagnosis of Osteoporosis. The radiation dose from this procedure is minimal (background equivalent).

DXA is most often used to diagnose Osteoporosis, a condition that affects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50. Osteoporosis involves a gradual loss of calcium, as well as structural changes, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to break.

DXA is most often performed on the lower spine, hips and sometimes forearm – please see the departmental referral criteria.


Our scanner at St Peter’s also has the ability to perform Lateral Vertebral Deformity Assessment (which enables vertebral fractures to be diagnosed) which is very important in the management of Osteoporosis.

It is recommended for patients over the age of 60 with:-

  • Unexplained back pain.
  • Loss of height >5cm
  • History of vertebral fractures.

St Peter’s also has the facility to carry out whole body scans as requested according to our departmental criteria.



ASHFORD: – On the ground floor of the clinical block in the X ray Department.

ST PETER’S HOSPITAL: – Level 2 of the Out patients Department Block leading to the Runnymede Hospital.

CONSULTANTS: – Dr V Prakash (clinical lead) and Dr S Davidson.





Contact Telephone Number

Enquiries and appointments 01932 722482

We no longer accept referrals by fax

To refer please access GP link for the department criteria and the referral form or alternatively send an email to


Useful Documents

See also: Balloon Kyphoplasty