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What is PET/CT and how does it work?


PET/CT, PET Scan, CT, Diagnostic Imaging ToolPET/CT combines Positron Emission Tomography (PET) with Computed Tomography (CT) technology to aid in the diagnosis of cancer. PET/CT is also a valuable tool for determining the extent to which cancer has spread and how a patient is responding to treatment. In addition, PET can be used to evaluate patients with cardiac and neurological disorders such as seizures and dementia.

PET is a nuclear medicine test that uses special imaging cameras and a radioactive solution called FDG (Flurodeoxyglucose) to create very clear pictures of cell metabolism. CT uses X-rays to provide detailed information about the location, size, and shape of lesions or growths in the body. When combined in a single machine, the two techniques provide accurate, specific information about where abnormalities are located and whether they are cancerous.

    All of our PET/CT facilities are ACR accredited.

How do you prepare for your PET/CT procedure?


      • Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment and bring your prescription or referral. If you need to reschedule or cancel, call 24 hours in advance.


      • Let us know what medications you take, including non-prescription medicines and supplements.


        • Tell us if you are or may be pregnant or are breastfeeding.


          • Do not eat, drink, chew gum, or use cough drops or mints for 5 hours before your exam.


          • Avoid caffeine, sugar, tobacco, and heavy exercise for 48 hours before your exam.

          • If you need to take medication before your exam, you can use a very small amount of water to swallow the pills.

          • If you are diabetic, please contact the office in advance for instructions.



              What should you bring to your procedure?


              • Prescription or referral from your physician

              • List of medications you take

              • Insurance cards

              • Previous MRI, CT or PET/CT scans and reports performed outside our network




                  What will you experience during your PET/CT scan?



                  Upon Arrival


                  • Your medical history will be reviewed with you prior to starting the exam. Your blood sugar level will be checked by a finger stick to ensure your glucose is at a normal level. The technologist will then administer an injection which contains the FDG solution which will highlight the cells being examined.


                  • You will wait for about 60 to 90 minutes as the solution distributes itself throughout your body.


                  • Unless you are having a scan of the brain, you can usually read or listen to music while waiting for your scan to begin. If you are having a brain scan, we'll ask you to wait in a quiet, dimly lit room to avoid stimulating your brain.


                  • You will be asked to remove any metal from the part of your body being scanned.



                  During the PET/CT scan


                  • Staff will escort you to the scanner and make you comfortable.


                  • We will take images as you lie still in the scanner.


                  • You will be able to communicate with the technologist throughout the procedure


                  • The scan usually lasts between 30 and 45 minutes.



                  After the PET/CT scan


                  • You may leave immediately after your PET/CT scan and resume your normal activities.


                  • The radiologist will review your scans and send the written report to your physician.


                  • Urgent findings will be called or faxed to your physician.




                  For an appointment, please call 888-972-9700 or click here