Positron Emission Tomography (also known as PET/CT) is a nuclear medical exam that produces a three-dimensional image of functional processes in the body. A PET/CT scan uses a small amount of radioactive material to show differences between healthy and diseased tissue. PET/CT scans produce diagnostic images, which can be used to evaluate a variety of diseases.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR VISIT?
What to Expect?
You will receive an intravenous (IV) injection of a radioactive material.
It will take approximately 30 to 90 minutes for the tissue under study to absorb the radioactive material. During this time, you will rest quietly in a private waiting area. It will be necessary for you to avoid significant movement or talking, which may alter the substance's localization.
After the waiting period, you will be positioned on the PET/CT scanner table and asked to lie still during your exam. Scanning takes 30 to 45 minutes.
Usually, your daily routine will not be restricted after the test. However, you will be advised to drink plenty of fluids in order to flush the radioactive substance from your body. When given the intravenous injection, you will feel a slight prick at the injection site. However, you will not feel the substance in your body. You will be made as comfortable as possible on the exam table before you are positioned in the PET/CT scanner for the test. Some patients may find it uncomfortable to hold still in one position for more than a few minutes, but the procedure is not painful.
What are some common uses of PET?
§ Detecting cancer
§ Preparing cancer treatment planning
§ Evaluating the heart for:
- Blood flow
- Signs of coronary artery disease
- Heart function
§ Evaluating the brain for:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Brain tumors
- Seizure disorders