Positron Emissions Tomography (PET)
A PET (positron emissions tomography) scan is an imaging test that uses a radioactive substance (called a radiotracer) to look for diseases in the body by testing the metabolic activity levels of the cells. A CT (computed tomography)
scan provides information about the body’s anatomy such as size, shape and location. Positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) is a medical imaging technique that fuses images acquired from both the PET and CT devices into a single image providing your physician the ability to more accurately diagnoses and identify cancer, heart disease, and brain disorders.
PET/CT scans are most often used to detect cancer and to examine the effects of cancer therapy by characterizing biochemical changes in the cancer. This procedure can help to determine whether a growth is malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous), evaluate the progression of disease, and assess the effects of clinical therapies. In addition, PET/CT is also used to evaluate patients who have brain disorders (such as Alzheimer’s disease, brain tumors, and seizures) and other central nervous system disorders.
When you arrive for your PET scan, your history and information will be reviewed, and you’ll have a chance to ask any questions you might have.
You will be made comfortable in a private room, and you will be given an isotope (Radioactive substance) through an IV. It takes an hour for this substance to travel through your body and accumulate in your tissues, so you will be asked to sit in one of our comfortable recliners during this time.
The PET/CT scanner looks like a large doughnut. When you are ready for your scan you will lie comfortable on the imaging table while the scanner detects the concentration of the tracer within the body and generates CT/ PET and fusion images by use of computer software. It usually takes between 20 – 60 minutes for both the PET and CT scans to be performed.
*PLEASE NOTE -After the scan, you will be radioactive for a period of at least 12-18 hours and should therefore not be around any children under the age of 18 nor any pregnant ladies for that period of time.
PET/CT exams vary in length depending on the type of procedure your physician has ordered. You should plan to spend two to three hours with us.
Should you need to cancel your exam for any reason, please call us at least 24 hours prior to your appointment so that we can cancel your dose, otherwise you could face a charge up to $150.