Positron Emission Tomography / Computed Tomography
A PET/CT scan combines positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) images. PET images show the function of cells in the body. CT images show details of body anatomy such as vessels, lymph nodes and organs. When PET and CT scans are combined, the fused images help doctors accurately diagnose, stage and treat cancer. PET/CT scans may reduce the need for biopsy or surgery.
PET/CT can help determine:
- Size and location of the growth
- Whether the cancer is spreading
- The best form of treatment
- Whether therapy is working
- Whether there has been a recurrence
Prepare for your exam by drinking plenty of fluids during the 24 hours prior to your scheduled exam. Dress warmly and comfortably. Contact the scheduling department with any questions you may have.
Prior to your scan, you will receive a small injection of a radioactive bone tracer called Sodium Fluoride F-18. You rest comfortably for 60 – 90 minutes while the tracer moves through your body. Then the technologist brings you to the scanner. The length of the exam depends upon the body area being scanned. You may be asked to hold your breath for several seconds during the exam. Try to remain still while the scan is in process. The length of the exam depends upon the area being scanned.
After your scan, you may resume your normal activity level. The injected radioactive tracer quickly leaves your body. To expedite this process, drink plenty of water.
The radiologist will review your scans and send results to your doctor.