Imaging time~approximately 1 hour
Total time~approximately 3 hours
What is a P.E.T. scan?
A P.E.T. (positron emission tomography) scan is an imaging technique that uses small amounts of radioactive tracer to help diagnose disease. It is used to gather important and unique information about your body on a cellular level. PET can effectively pinpoint the source of many of the most common caners, heart and neurological diseases, eliminating the need for redundant tests and diagnostic surgical procedures. PET is a powerful, yet painless technique to view the function of body tissues.
Why do I need a PET scan?
PET scans are particularly useful in diagnosing many types of cancer, coronary heart disease, and many types of neurological problems, such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. For children, PET is powerful for diagnosing brain tumors and other cancers as well as epilepsy.
How do I prepare for my scan?
The day before the scan you may eat and drink normally. You are not allowed to eat for at least six hours prior to the scan. However, you may have water. No strenuous activity for 24 hours prior to the scan. You may take all of our medications on the day of the exam.
Patients must be 2 weeks post chemotherapy. Patients who are pregnant may not be scanned. Wear comfortable loose fitting clothing the day of the scan.
What can I expect during the scan?
Prior to the scan you will receive an injection of radioactive labeled glucose (FDG). For about one hour, you will rest while the FDG is taken up by the cells of your body. You should not feel any side effects from the FDG. You will then be taken to the scanner room for imaging, where you will be asked to lie on the imaging table during the scan. It is important for you to relax and lay still during the scan.
What happens after the scan?
It is important that you drink extra fluids and urinate frequently for the rest of the day to help eliminate the FDG from your system. The radioactivity used in PET studies has a very short half-life. Most is gone within the first 4 to 8 hours after the injection. You can drive and resume normal activities immediately after leaving the hospital (unless otherwise prescribed).