PET/CT combines the functional information from a POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY (PET) exam with the anatomical information from a COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY (CT) exam into one single procedure. The PET exam pinpoints metabolic activity in cells while the CT scan provides an anatomical context of your body.
PET scan is a unique type of imaging test that helps doctors see how the organs and tissues inside your body are actually functioning. It detects changes in cellular function, such as how your cells are using nutrients like sugar and oxygen. In many cases, PET scan can provide the information to make an earlier and more accurate diagnosis than traditional methods.
CT scan uses a combination of x-rays and computers that allows the radiologist to see the anatomical features of the human body without an invasive procedure such as biopsies or surgeries.
The Benefit of PET in Oncology Clinical research data has proven that PET is superior to conventional imaging in the diagnosis, staging and surveillance (restaging) of various types of cancers. Moreover, the appropriate use of PET can lead to a significant change in the management of your patient’s care.
Combined PET/CT Imaging: The Added Advantage The PET/CT scanner combines two state of the art imaging modalities. By monitoring cellular glucose metabolism, PET provides very sensitive information regarding the function and malignant potential of lesions. CT meanwhile provides exquisitely detailed anatomical information about the location, size, and shape of various lesions but cannot differentiate benign lesions from malignant lesions with the same accuracy as PET.
- Detect early stages of the cancer
- Determine whether a cancer has spread in the body.
- Assess the effectiveness of a treatment plan, such as cancer therapy.
- Determine if a cancer has returned after treatment.
- Determine the effects of heart attack or myocardial infarction.
- Identify areas of the heart muscle that would benefit from a procedure such as angioplasty Coronary artery bypass surgery (in combination with a myocardial perfusion scan).
- Evaluate brain abnormalities.
- Evaluate bone abnormalities (e.g. stress fracture).
- Patients referred for PET/CT scanning will be required to spend approximately two hours at Advanced Care Oncology Center.
- Patients are first injected with a very small amount of the FDG radiotracer.
- The patient then waits approximately 45-60 minutes prior to scanning to allow for the FDG to adequately target and bind to possible malignant cells within the body
- The actual scan takes approximately 15-20 minutes with the patient lying flat within the scanner.