• Written By Sankavi_E
  • Last Modified 25-07-2022

BMD Full Form 


The BMD full form in English is Bone Mineral Density, whereas, in Hindi it’s called अस्थि खनिज घनत्व. It measures the total mineral content (in gram) in a unit volume of a bone. BMD helps to diagnose Osteoporosis and other underlying conditions that could lead to bone loss in individuals. 

BMD analysis also helps to evaluate response to bone-related treatments. It enables in making a fair assessment of the bone strength to determine the likelihood of a bone fracture,especially in diseases that cause mineral depletion in bones, like cancer.

BMD Test

BMD is a test-based metric. It is determined by a diagnostic test called the BMD test (also called the bone density test or BDT). The test runs an x-ray scan to determine the strength profile of a bone structure.  

It is typically performed on individuals considered likely to have bone-related ailments – e.g., senior citizens, calcium-deficient people, osteoporosis patients, etc.

BMD Test: Procedure

The BMD test is a low-intensity x-ray scan (low range of radiation exposure). It is  non-invasive and requires that the patient lay still (on a flat surface) during the scan. It does not require a formal prescription of a specialist doctor and takes about 10-20 minutes. 

BMD Test: Scans

A BMD scan x-rays bone structures.The location of these structures determines whether the scan adopts the central DXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) or peripheral DXA mechanism.  

The central DXA is used to x-ray structures along the torso, most typically the hip joint and spinal cord. It is  high on accuracy and slightly more expensive than the peripheral DXA.

A peripheral DXA is used to x-ray structures on the extremities, which generally include the arm, wrists, fingers, feet, etc. It typically functions as a screener on individuals prone to osteoporosis, though in accuracy it is not as precise as central DXA.

BMD Test: Analysis

BMD test results are reported as T-score and Z-score. The T-score is derived by taking the observed BMD value on the test and comparing it to that of a healthy 30-year-old adult. (of the same gender) It is then interpreted as below: 

Between -1 and 1Normal
Between -1 and -2.5Low (Osteopenia)
Below or equals -2.5Extremely Low (Osteoporosis)

Z-score: It is derived by taking an individual’s bone mass and comparing it to that of a healthy person of the same age, gender, and build. A Z-score of -2.0 or below points to high bone degeneration for which there must be further diagnosis. 

BMD Test: Preparation

Preparing for a BMD test involves simple measures such as:

  • Avoiding intake of calcium supplements twenty-four hours prior to the test.
  • Waiting seven or more days after being injected with barium or contrast dye for MRI or CT scan to get a central DXA done. 
  • Avoiding clothes with metal ornamentation, jewellery, zippers, belts etc. to the testing centre.  
BMD Recommendation

The BMD test is generally recommended in cases of:

  • Suspected bone loss in the spinal cord
  • Broken or fractured spine
  • Loss of body height by over an inch in under a year
  • Long-term consumption of steroids
  • Following a medical intervention like bone marrow transplant to monitor  

bone regrowth and recovery

  • Post-menopausal woman or women above 65 years in age
  • Significant drop in hormone levels
  • The test is best avoided in pregnancy as radiation, even in minimal amounts, can be a source of potential harm to the foetus. In normal conditions, the test is extremely safe with radiation exposure even lesser than a chest x-ray or flight. 
FAQs on BMD full form

Q1. Is a medical prescription mandatory for getting a BMD test?

Ans. No, a medical prescription is not mandatory for the BMD test.Anyone  who needs the test can get it done at a dedicated diagnostic centre.

Q2. What does BMD measure?

Ans. BMD measures the total minerals (in gram) in a unit volume of a bone.

Q3. What is the T-score?

Ans. The T-score maps the patient’s BMD against that of a healthy 30-year-old adult of the same gender. It gives insights into bone strength.

Q4. What is the Z-score?

Ans. The Z-score is a measure of the bone mass of an individual in  comparison to that of a healthy person of the same age, gender, and build. It gives insights into bone density. 

We hope this article on BMD full form proves helpful to you. Do let us know if you have any questions on the same through the comments section below and we will get back to you at the earliest. For more such informative articles, keep visiting Embibe.

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