PET/CT Scanning

The Latest in Diagnostic Care

What IS PET/CT

Positron Emission Tomography (PET/CT), a whole-body imaging technique that is used to diagnose and plan treatment for patients with cancer, neurologic disorders, and cardiac disease, is one more example of the leading-edge care Freehold Radiology provides for the community. Freehold Radiology is one of only a few select radiology groups in the state able to offer this impressive technology combining Positron Emission Tomography with Computed Tomography.

PET/CT joins the ranks of other powerful diagnostic tools such as MRI and CT scans. It is the next step in understanding and treating a wide variety of diseases. PET/CT Scanning is a nuclear medicine body scanning technique that visualizes metabolically active tissues with the fine structural detail of a CT scan. This combination allows for earlier and more accurate disease the PET alone.

The PET/CT scan can detect early changes, which may be precursors to disease. It can monitor response to treatment and can eliminate the need for costly redundant testing or invasive surgical procedures. PET/CT allows radiologists to determine a benign or malignant disease without an invasive procedure.

How does PET/CT work?

With most exams, patients are injected intravenously with a small dose of a natural substance- glucose (FDG), which has been modified to be radioactive, PET/CT fusion creates an image showing areas where more glucose has been absorbed. All living cells need glucose for energy, and cancer cells require more glucose than healthy cells. The glucose molecules are consumed more in fast growing cancer cells than in normal cells, resulting in concentrations of FDG in areas where increased activity occurs. PET/CT can also show areas of decreased glucose activity found in certain cardiac and brain disorders.

How should you prepare ?

For a period of 6 hours prior to the PET/CT appointment, the patient is to have nothing to eat or drink except plain water. You will be encouraged to drink water. Do not exercise the on the day prior or the day of the exam. Your doctor will instruct you regarding the use of medications before the test.

Note: Diabetic patients should ask for any specific diet guidelines to control glucose levels during the day of the test.

You will be asked a multitude of questions when you schedule your appointment. Further instructions may be given at that time.