A Bone Mineral Density (BMD) test is used to to quantify the mass of bone in the body.

The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) Nuclear Medicine Team is committed to providing the highest level of care. Registration, certification, and continuing education for all our team members ensures that the highest possible standards are maintained.

What is a BMD test?

A BMD test is used to quantify the mass of bone in the body. A machine uses a very low dose X-ray to measure the amount of minerals, namely calcium in your bones. Patients who have been referred by their doctors for a BMD scan are usually being assessed for osteoporosis.

Before your BMD test

  • You must have had no barium X-rays within one week prior to the test
  • You must have had no radioactive injections within the last 24hrs

What should I bring to my appointment?

  • Bring your Ontario Health Card
  • Bring a list of all your current medications

How does the procedure work?

  • After registration you will be asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire. This tells the doctor who interpret the scans a bit about your history, such as if you have a relative who had osteoporosis, or if you are on medications that may reduce your bone density.
  • You will be asked to remove any metal items from around your waist (belts, keys, coins etc.).
  • Most patients will have two images taken. You will lie on a bed and images of your hip and spine will be taken.
  • Some patients will have a bone density scan of their wrist performed instead.
  • The procedure will take approximately 20 minutes.

BMD Test Results

The images and data collected by the BMD machine is sent to a radiologist for interpretation, your doctor will receive a written report in approximately one week.

Information that will be included in this report is a T score and Z score.

T score

  • Compares your bone density with a healthy, young adult of your gender. This score indicates if your bone density is normal, below normal, or at the level that indicates osteoporosis.
    • -1 and above: Your bone density is normal
    • -1 to -2.5: Your bone density is low and it may lead to osteoporosis
    • -2.5 and below: You have osteoporosis

Z Score

  • Allows you to compare how much bone mass you have compared with other people of your age, gender and size.
    • Below –2.0 means that you have less bone mass than someone your age and that it could be caused by something other than aging

BMD Test Locations

BMD tests are performed at the following HPHA hospital sites:

Clinton Public Hospital – Basement Level

  • Register at Patient Registration located on the basement level.

Stratford General Hospital - Level 1

  • Parking is available in Lot A off Cambria St. or Lot E off of West Gore St.
  • Enter through the Main Entrance.
  • Register in the Imaging Department, East Building, Level 1
  • Appointment will take place in the West Building, Level 1 - you will be given directions after you register

COVID-19 self-screening is in effect at all HPHA hospital sites.

Booking Office Contact Information:

Tel: 519-272-8212 or Toll-Free: 1-888-275-1102 ext. 8212