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What is PET/CT?

PET stands for Positron Emission Tomography. Most PET scans today are performed with an imaging drug that acts like a tracer amount of a sugar when it is administered intravenously. The imaging drug most commonly used is FDG (18Fludeoxy-glucose). FDG provides a signal that the PET scanner detects-tissues that are under-using or over-using glucose can be shown on the pictures. Cancer cells, because they are dividing faster than normal cells, use more glucose than normal tissues. The CT scan then provides a snapshot of the body structure. Together, the tests help physicians pinpoint exactly what is happening in the body and where the area of concern is.

When is PET/CT used?

PET/CT allows physicians to view blood flow to and functioning of the heart and brain, so the test is used to evaluate organ function and determine the presence or extent of disease. PET/CT often is used in diagnosing cancer. PET/CT results also can help physicians predict how patients will respond to treatment and monitor its effectiveness over time.

What can I expect during a PET/CT exam?

Patients will be asked to remove jewelry, undress and put on a gown. A clinician will administer the FDG through an intravenous (IV) line and, depending on the area of the body being examined, patients may have to rest quietly while the material disperses in the body. In the procedure room, patients will be asked to lie as still as possible on the machine table while it moves slowly in and out of the ring-shaped scanner. The length of the test varies depending on the area of the body being examined.

When can I expect results?

The results of your exam typically are ready for your physician within 48 hours. Please allow 7 - 10 days for your physician to receive and review your test results. If you do not receive results after 14 days, please be sure to contact the physician who ordered the test.

Please contact your physician for your test results.

How do I schedule a PET/CT?

To schedule a PET/CT, please call 630.275.3684.

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