What is PET/CT?
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and CT (Computed Tomography) scans are
both standard imaging tools that physicians use to pinpoint disease in
the body. PET scan demonstrates the biological function of the body, while
the CT scan provides information about the anatomy’s size, shape
and location. PET/CT scan enables physicians to accurately diagnose and
identify cancer, heart disease and brain disorders.
Your PET scan will produce a picture of how your body’s cells are
functioning, whereas, an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI produce a picture of bones,
organs and tissues.
The PET/CT combines the two images. The PET image reveals the functioning
aspect of the body part being scanned, while the CT image shows the anatomy.
When combined together they are able to provide the Radiologist with a
more complete picture of the area of interest. PET studies are normally
done to detect malignancy in the body part examined.
Frequently asked questions:
What is a PET/CT used for?
A non-invasive test, PET scans accurately image the cellular function of
the human body. In a single PET scan your physician can examine your entire
body. PET scanning provides a more complete picture, making it easier
for your doctor to diagnose problems, determine the extent of disease,
prescribe treatment, and track progress particularly in cancer.
A PET scan can be used in early diagnosis, assisting physicians in determining
the best method for treatment. A whole body PET scan may detect whether
cancer is isolated to one specific area or has spread to other organs
before a treatment path is determined. Tour PET scan will help you and
your physician make a more informed decision about your diagnosis and
How long will the PET/CT exam take?
PET scans are completely painless with no side effects. You will be instructed
to dress comfortably. You may take your regularly scheduled medications
prior to arriving for your scan, if they can be tolerated on an empty stomach.
Upon arriving to the PET scanner you will receive an injection of radioactive
glucose (FDG), which will take approximately 45 minutes to distribute
throughout your body. You will be asked to empty your bladder and then
lie down on the scanner bed. The scan takes approximately 30-60 minutes,
depending upon the type of scan you are having. It is important that you
lie still during this process. Plan to spend approximately two hours at
the PET center.
After your PET scan is completed make sure to drink plenty of water throughout
the day to flush the FDG from your body.
Getting your results:
The PET scan is interpreted by our board certified Nuclear Medicine Radiologists
and the results are usually sent to the referring physician shortly thereafter.
Our Team of Specialists:
Our board certified Radiologists are specially trained in Nuclear Medicine
to diagnose and interpret the images. At MMCSC the PET/CT technologists
are specially trained in the theory and practice of PET/CT procedures
and operate the equipment used during the procedure. The technologists
are board certified and the Radiology department at MMCSC is fully accredited
by the American College of Radiology.