A Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography (PET/CT) scan provide
important information about many conditions affecting the heart, brain
and other organs, which will help your doctor plan appropriate treatment for you.
PET/CT images are different than those obtained with conventional X-ray,
CT, ultrasound or MRI. PET shows the function of the body and organs or
how they work. CT or other imaging techniques show the structures of the
body or how the organs look.
The PET/CT procedure provides information about the structure and function
of your organs. In most cases, this combined procedure is completed while
you lie on the table during one scheduled exam.
How Does The Procedure Work?
To begin the procedure, a small amount of radioactive glucose is injected
into your bloodstream. There is no danger to you from this injection.
Glucose (also known as sugar) is a common substance every cell in your
body needs in order to function.
Radioactive glucose must pass multiple quality control measures before
it is used for any patient injection. The radiation exposure associated
with PET is similar to that associated with a conventional CT scan.
After the injection, you will wait approximately one hour while the injected
material is distributed throughout your body. You will be asked to lie
on a table that passes slowly through the scanner. The PET/CT scanner
resembles a CT scanner, but has a larger opening. Some people fall asleep
during the scan.
How Will I Feel Afterward?
You should feel fine. There are no side effects from the injected material.
If you have a heart scan, you may feel flushed afterward.
How Do I Get My Results?
The studies are read after the PET/CT scan is completed. You will receive
a report from your physician.
For more information about the PET scanner talk to your physician or call
the Providence Radiology department at