PET/CT (Positron Emission Tomography / Computed Tomography)


What is a PET/CT scan?

PET/CT scans can detect changes in your body at the cellular level. Cells use glucose to multiply, and cancer cells replicate at a faster rate than normal cells. The radionuclide we use in a PET/CT scan is similar to the glucose in your body and identifies any cells that multiply at a faster rate than those around them. You are injected with a small amount of radioactive agent attached to a glucose substance.

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How should I prepare?

For 6 hours prior to the procedure do not eat food, suck on candy, or chew gum. Drink plenty of water; it keeps your vascular system hydrated. Limit your physical activity 24 hours before the exam. To ensure the best results are acquired do not wear clothing with zippers, snaps, or metal attached. If insulin dependent, take ½ 4 hours prior to exam and bring the other ½ to take after the procedure. If oral diabetic medication is needed, don’t take the morning dose; bring it with you to take after the procedure.

What should I expect?

The technologist will explain the procedure to you, check your glucose levels, and answer any question you may have. Once injected with the radiotracer you will sit in a recliner with blankets to allow the dose to uptake in your system for 60 minutes. You will then be imaged for 20 – 40 minutes depending on the specifications of the exam your doctor requested.

How do I get my results?

After you study is complete, our board certified radiologists will evaluate the images from your PET scan and send a complete report to your doctor, who will discuss the results with you.

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