The results of a DEXA bone density exam are interpreted by a radiologist, who is a physician specially trained to diagnose conditions and diseases by obtaining and interpreting medical images. The radiologist will send an interpretation of your results and a signed report to your primary care physician who will work with you to develop a treatment plan. Usually available within a few days, your test results will be in the form of two scores:
T score — This number shows the amount of bone you have compared with a young adult of the same gender with peak bone mass. A score above -1 is considered normal. A score between -1 and -2.5 is classified as osteopenia, the first stage of bone loss. A score below -2.5 is defined as osteoporosis. It is used to estimate your risk of developing a fracture.
Z score — This number reflects the amount of bone you have compared with other people in your age group and of the same size and gender. If it is unusually high or low, it may indicate a need for further medical tests.
* Many DEXA scans are interpreted by other physicians such as rheumatologists and endocrinologists.