Positron emission tomography (PET) uses small amounts of radioactive materials called radiotracers, a special camera and a computer to help evaluate your organ and tissue functions. By identifying body changes at the cellular level, PET may detect the early onset of disease before it is evident on other imaging tests.
Tell your doctor if there’s a possibility you are pregnant or if you are breastfeeding. Your doctor will instruct you based on the type of exam to be performed. Discuss any recent illnesses, medical conditions, medications you’re taking and allergies – especially to contrast material. You will likely be told not to eat anything and to drink only water several hours before your scan. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown.
A PET scan measures important body functions, such as blood flow, oxygen use, and sugar (glucose) metabolism, to help doctors evaluate how well organs and tissues are functioning.
CT imaging uses special x-ray equipment, and in some cases a contrast material, to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. These images can then be interpreted by a radiologist on a computer monitor. CT imaging provides excellent anatomic information.
PET and PET/CT scans are performed to: