A new form of imaging has proven vital for diagnosis and treatment of complex medical needs. It’s a “hybrid” of two technologies called PET/CT. The technology produces detailed computerized images that combine the functional imaging of a PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan with the anatomical detail of a CT (Computed Tomography) scan. This innovative technology can provide early detection of cancer, cardiovascular concerns and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Stroke.
Benefits of PET/CT:
- Diagnose, stage and treat cancer with greater accuracy
- Improve diagnostic confidence
- Reduce need for invasive procedures
- More previse monitor of patient response to treatment
What is PET/CT?
PET is an acronym for Positron Emission Tomography. PET is a test that uses special imaging cameras and a radioactive type of sugar to produce pictures of the function and metabolism of cells in the body.
CT stands for Computerized Tomography. CT is an X-ray test that generates a detailed view of the anatomy or structure of organs and tissues in the body. The CT scan can show the dimension of vessels, lymph nodes and organ systems.
PET/CT depicts both technologies using a single machine. It provides a picture of function (PET), a picture of anatomy (CT) and a merged picture of both the body’s metabolism and structure.
What to Expect:
You will receive a small injection of FDG (sugar water with a radioactive tracer). You will sit or lie down for 30-90 minutes while the FDG travels through your body. After this time, you will move to the scanner. You may be asked to hold your breath for several seconds. When the total scan is finished computers will produce images for review
Once the scan has been performed you can resume daily activities. The FDG will leave your body quickly and you can expedite the process by drinking plenty of water.
Who interprets the results?
When the PET/CT scan is finished, computers produce images for review. A radiologist will read the results and contact the referring physician to communicate all pertinent information from the scan. Then the referring physician contacts the patient to share the results.