What is PET/CT?
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and CT (Computed Tomography) are both standard imaging tools that physicians use to pinpoint dis-ease states in the body. The PET scan demonstrates the biological function of the body often before anatomical changes take place, while the CT scan provides information about the body’s anatomy such as size, shape and location. By combining these two technologies physicians can more accurately identify, diagnose and stage cancer and brain disorders.
Common Uses of PET/CT
- Determine benign from malignant tumors in suspicious areas
- Survey the entire body for cancer that may have spread
- Monitor success of therapy
- Detect recurrent tumors
- Assess tumor aggressiveness
PET’s ability to measure cerebral metabolism and blood flow make it extremely valuable in a variety of neurological diseases like refractory epilepsy, brain tumors, dementia, and other movement disorders.
What should I expect?
You will receive an injection of a radioactive tracer and will rest for about 90 minutes while the tracer is distributed throughout your body. You will then be asked to lie on a table that passes slowly through the scanner. The CT portion of the test sends x-rays through the body that are processed to show the body structure. The PET portion of the test produces a whole body map of the tracer distribution.
Preparing for your scan
- Do not eat or drink anything except water for 6 hours before your test.
- Drink plenty of water (No soda, caffeine, or juice).
- No gum or hard candy day of PET scan. Sugar in the body can affect test results.
- Wear warm, comfortable clothing.
- Take any scheduled medications except for diabetic medications.
- Avoid exercise 24 hours prior to your scan
- Inform your doctor and technologist if you are diabetic, pregnant, or nursing