ISRRT’s Position Statment

Role of RTs in DXA

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ISRRT Position Statement
The role of Radiographers/Radiological Technologists using Dual Energy
X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA)

The ISRRT considers that radiographers and radiological technologists should take a prominent
role in the delivery of testing for osteoporosis in medical conditions.

Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) scanning is the gold standard and is a technology that is used worldwide using ionizing radiation to diagnose osteoporosis, monitor changes in Bone Mineral Density (BMD) and assess fracture risk.

Following education and training, radiographers/radiological technologists have the skills and training in the use of medical radiological equipment, patient positioning techniques, image acquisition, and scan analysis.

A radiographer/radiological technologist should maintain clinical competence in the field of bone densitometry. The documented reported results of the acquired DXA scan by the radiographer/ radiological technologist are highly dependent on the quality of the scan acquisition, analysis, and interpretation.

Radiographers/radiological technologists should also be competent in appropriately communicating information to patients and other members of the multi-disciplinary team, observing and advising patients and members of the medical team.

A radiographer/radiological technologist should undertake continuing professional development with regard to this element of their scope of practice, including all the testing methods mentioned, to ensure that they remain safe, competent and up to date in accordance with locally agreed protocols. All radiographers/radiological technologists should also demonstrate ethical conduct and professionalism in the workplace.

Healthcare facility policies must comply with all applicable radiation safety requirements for the patient, public and the radiographer/technologist. This includes independent healthcare institutions as well as those government funded hospital settings.

The effectiveness and compliance of the service delivered should be subject to independent scrutiny and audit.

Bibliography and Further Reading

  • A DXA Primer for the Practicing Clinician: A Case-Based Manual for Understanding and
    Interpreting Bone Densitometry Paperback – 21 Nov. 2013 by Angelo A. A. Licata
    (Author), Susan E. Williams (Contributor)
  •  Best Practices for Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry Measurement and Reporting:
    International Society for Clinical Densitometry Guidance (
  • Bone mineral density: testing for osteoporosis, Australian Prescriber, NPS
  •  Bonnick SL. Bone Densitometry in Clinical Practice: Application and Interpretation.
    Humana Press 2009
  • Bonnick SL. Bone Densitometry for technologists. Humana Press 2013.
  • Bontragers Textbook of Radiographic Positioning and Related Anatomy, 11th edition
    Bone Density Chapter 20 , Humana Press, Contributing Author, Sharon Wartenbee,
  •  Clark’s Procedures in Diagnostic Imaging – A system-based approach. CRC Press –
    chapter 3 MSK and DXA
  • Genant HK, Bone Densitometry and Osteoporosis. Springer 1997
  • International Society for Clinical Densitometry
  •  ISCD Best Practices for Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA)
  • Licata AAA, Williams SE. A DXA Primer for the Practicing Clinician: A Case-Based
    Manual for Understanding and Interpreting Bone Densitometry. Springer 2013
  • Merrills Atlas of Radiographic Positioning and Procedures 13th edition, Volume 3, Bone
    Density Page 441, Humana Press, Contributing Author Sharon Wartenbee,
  • National Osteoporosis Foundation (
  •  The Evaluation of Osteoporosis: Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry in Clinical Practice
    Hardcover – 30 Nov. 1998 by Glen M Blake (Editor), Heinz W Wahner (Editor), Ignac
    Fogelman (Editor)
  • The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) is Now the Bone Health and Osteoporosis
    Foundation (BHOF) (
  • The Role of the Radiographer in DXA and Osteoporosis The Role of the Radiographer in
    DXA and Osteoporosis Services | SoR
    PRIMARY HEALTH CARE LEVEL Summary Meeting Report Brussels, Belgium, 5-7
    May 2004
  • Microsoft Word – Meeting Report layout 29_06_2007.doc (
    Note: Links to external websites may change without notice.