CT creates images with anatomical detail, however shows nothing of the living processes taking place in the body. PET images reveal the biology and metabolism in the body, but lack the detail to pinpoint the exact location of these functions. PET/CT together provides anatomically detailed information where a CT scan is merged with the biological function recorded by the PET scanner to form an image that records living tissues and life processes.
- Earlier diagnosis and precise treatment.
- Accurate staging and localization.
- Early detection of the recurrence of cancer, revealing tumors that may otherwise be obscured by scarring from surgery or radiation therapy.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Services / Preparations
PET Whole Body (Oncology): Nothing by mouth 4 hrs prior to exam. Patient may take regularly scheduled medications with water only. No diuretic on day of exam (i.e. Lasix). If pain or anti-anxiety meds are needed, please have patient bring those medications on day of exam and technologists will instruct patient when to take them. Do not exercise and also limit carbohydrate intake (bread, pasta, potatoes and rice) 24 hours prior to your scan. Wear comfortable clothing. (specify cancer)
PET Brain (Neurology): Nothing by mouth 4 hrs prior to exam. Patient may take regularly scheduled medications with water only. No diuretic on day of exam (i.e. Lasix). If pain or anti-anxiety meds are needed, please have patient bring those medications on day of exam and technologists will instruct patient when to take them. Take insulin as normally instructed.
NOTE: If patient had radiation, chemotherapy or gamma knife treatments, schedule patient at least 10 days following date of last treatment.
Scan Time: 60-90 Minutes
How should I prepare for this procedure?
- Do not eat for four hours before the scan
- Drink water
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes
- Talk with your Physician regarding the use of medications before the test
- Diabetic patients should ask for any specific diet guidelines to control glucose levels during the day of the test
What should I expect and experience from this procedure?
You will lie down on an examination table and be given the radioactive substance as an intravenous injection, this will feel like a slight prick. (although, in some cases, it will be given through an existing intravenous line or inhaled as a gas).
The substance will then take approximately 30 to 60 minutes to travel through your body and be absorbed by the tissue under study.
You will be asked to rest quietly and avoid significant movement or talking, which may alter the localization of the administered substance.
Usually, there are no restrictions on daily routine after the test, although you should drink plenty of fluids to flush the radioactive substance from your body.
Scanning takes an additional 30 to 45 minutes.
The LRG board certified radiologist will study the images and provide a written report which includes a description of the findings. Reports are available to your physicians within 24 hours of the completion of the exam. The report could take longer if we are waiting for studies from an outside facility for comparison. If the results are urgent your physician may acquire a preliminary report by phone.