Call 08 8402 0200

DEXA stands for Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry.

DEXA body scans deliver a 3 component assessment which includes fat, lean muscle and bone. The scan also gives you your overall body fat percentage to indicate whether you are within the healthy range for your age.

Why have a DEXA scan?

Whether you are an everyday person trying to lose weight or an athlete monitoring training and performance, DEXA is a valuable tool to help you structure your exercise and dietary programs.

By understanding your body composition and how your bone, fat, and muscle mass react to lifestyle changes, you will be able to improve your health through targeted programs and reduce your chance of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure.

You’ll be able to make more effective diet and training program decisions - just like athletes do - with accurate, scientific data.

Only DEXA body scans provide regional data, including arms, legs and trunk. This data will help you to be able to see small changes in fat and muscle tissue in specific areas, ideal for tracking the progress of your program.

DEXA scans provide reproducible results, meaning your progress can be tracked with the highest accuracy possible. Measurement errors which can be made by other methods are eliminated and any changes between DEXA scans are real.

Frequently asked questions:

Who uses DEXA body composition scans?
  • Professional athletes
  • Body builders
  • Personal training clients
  • Weight loss patients

Whether you are an everyday person trying to lose weight or an athlete monitoring training and performance, DEXA is a valuable tool to help you structure your exercise and dietary programs.

How does DEXA work?

DEXA technology utilises two different X-ray intensities to calculate the masses of bone, lean muscle and fat. High and low intensity x-rays are passed through the patient’s body simultaneously. These X-rays are variably absorbed or attenuated by the body. The differing absorption characteristics of each structure allow the different densities (fat, bone, muscle) to be defined and measured.

Is DEXA imaging safe?

Yes. Whilst DEXA imaging utilises radiation to obtain the image data, doses are very small, significantly less than a single day of background radiation. To put this into perspective a typical DEXA scan exposes a patient to 3µSv, whilst the average daily background radiation exposure in Adelaide is approximately 6 µSv.

How often should I be scanned?

Scanning frequency differs significantly depending on individual needs. Radiology SA recommends allowing 3 months between scans to demonstrate the outcomes of your lifestyle or program changes.

Can I be scanned if I am pregnant?

Radiology SA advises against proceeding with any form of body composition imaging if there is any chance that you may be pregnant. Whilst there is no clear evidence to suggest the small doses of radiation used during the examination will harm the developing fetus, we still recommend the scan is avoided.

Please inform the imaging consultant if you are concerned about the possibility of pregnancy and a urine pregnancy test can be performed onsite.

Can children be scanned?

Radiology SA has a DEXA imaging policy by which only individuals over the age of 18 years will be scanned. Exceptions to this may be considered on an individual basis following discussions with treating health professionals and parents. In these cases, you will need a referral from your medical practitioner.


We recommended comfortable clothing with no metal – zips, clips or studs. Simple gym attire is more than suitable. This will allow you to be scanned without the need to change into a patient gown. Upon entering the room, you will be asked to remove any metal objects that you may have in your pockets – keys, wallets, phones, belts.

Time required

Booking times are 15 minutes, however the scan itself only takes 5 minutes to complete. The remaining booking time allows for an outline of the findings.


There is no Medicare rebate available for body composition DEXA scans.

Please contact our friendly staff on 8402 0200 for pricing for this service. We are happy to offer a single visit fee, or a convenient three visit package to allow you to track the effects of your lifestyle and training changes.


Our staff will run through your results with you on the day of the examination. For subsequent studies comparison will be made with your prior visit.