PET/CT
 

PET/CT

About the Procedure

PET/CT combines two scanning techniques (CT and PET) into one exam. PET (Positron Emission Tomography) shows multiple functions in the body, such as cell activity. CT (Computed Tomography) shows detailed structural anatomy.

A PET/CT’s primary use is for cancer diagnosis and staging. It provides information that may help determine any potential treatments.

Preparation

The Oncology Coordinator calls you before the exam to discuss preparation and to answer any questions you may have.

During the Exam

An imaging technologist weighs you and takes a blood sample to check blood sugar levels. Then, IV line is placed in your arm, and the technologist injects a low-dose radiolabeled sugar called FDG. You are then taken to sit in a designated room for one hour, so the FDG has time to circulate through your body.

After an hour has passed, you are brought to the scanning room and are laid down on a cushioned, movable table. The table moves slowly through the machine during the scan. To achieve the highest quality of images, we ask that you remain still during the procedure.

After the Exam

You may continue your normal daily activities. You can drive, resume the normal diet, exercise and take any of your prescribed medications.

As an added precaution, we ask to avoid getting too close infants or anyone who is pregnant for the remainder of the day. This is due to the FDG that was injected earlier. We ask that you continue to drink lots of fluids throughout the rest of the day to flush out the remaining sugar in your system.

Follow-Up

One of our board-certified radiologists interprets the images and send the findings to your healthcare provider. You and your healthcare provider then discuss the results of the exam.