Patho Patho #67

Question

Which is the gold standard diagnostic tool for osteoporosis?

Answers

  1. 1. Magnetic resonance imaging
    • Rationale:

      This answer choice is not correct as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) plays a role in detecting osteoporosis by analyzing the bone marrow, however the gold standard diagnostic tool for osteoporosis is the Dexa scan.

  2. 2. CT scan of the spine
    • Rationale:

      This answer choice is not correct because while a CT of the spine can detect decreased bone density, the Dexa scan is the gold standard diagnostic tool for osteoporosis.

  3. 3. Lumbar puncture
    • Rationale:

      This answer choice is not correct as a lumbar puncture is the gold standard diagnostic tool for meningitis, not osteoporosis.

  4. 4. DEXA scan
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the dexa scan, or bone density scan, is the diagnostic tool of choice for diagnosis of osteoporosis.

Overview

The focus of this question is asking the nurse to choose the most important diagnostic tool to confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis. A Dexa scan is a noninvasive test that directly measures bone mineral density. Two x-ray beams are aimed at the bones in order to accurately measure bone mineral density. The Dexa scan is the gold standard for diagnosis of osteoporosis or those at risk.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

A Dexa scan is also referred to as a bone density scan. It measures calcium and other minerals within the bones using two x-ray beams aimed at the bones. Bone mineral density is measured in order to diagnose osteoporosis or those at risk for developing osteoporosis or those at risk for incurring a fracture due to low bone density.

Test Taking Tip

Make sure to study and learn which diagnostic tools are the “gold standard” for diagnosing specific disease processes. It is important to understand the nurse’s role in the most frequently used diagnostic studies.

Video Rationale