PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and CT (Computed Tomography) are both standard imaging tools that physicians use to pinpoint disease states in the body. The PET scan demonstrates the biological function of the body often before anatomical changes take place while the CT scan provides information about the body’s anatomy such as size, shape and location. By combining these two technologies, physicians can more accurately diagnose and identify cancer, heart disease and brain disorders.
PET/CT is a powerful imaging technique that holds great promise in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, particularly cancer. A non-invasive test, PET/CT accurately images metabolic and anatomic information in the human body in a single scan. This allows your physician to examine your entire body at once. PET/CT provides a complete picture, making it easier for your doctor to diagnose problems, determine the extent of disease, prescribe treatment, and track progress.
You will receive an intravenous injection of a radioactive tracer and will rest quietly for approximately 60 minutes while the tracer is distributed throughout your body.
You will then be asked to lie on a table that passes slowly through the scanner. The CT portion of the test sends x-rays through the body that are processed to show the body structure. The PET portion of the test produces a whole body map of the tracer distribution. The scanning process takes less than 30 minutes, usually. (Whole body PET/ CT takes almost 60 minutes.)