PET (or Positron Emission Tomography) is a medical imaging tool which assists physicians in detecting disease and helps doctors see how the organs and tissues inside your body are actually functioning.
For the benefits and risks of a specific PET procedure, how to prepare, and more, select the service below.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging is a diagnostic procedure used to visualize metabolically active tissues.
The test involves a small dose of a radioactive chemical called a radiotracer. The tracer travels through the body and is absorbed by the organs and tissues being studied.
All living cells utilize glucose to live and make the building blocks of life. Some cells metabolize glucose faster than others. Cancer cells are hyperactive and divide quickly and therefore metabolize the injection of the radioactive tracer FDG faster than normal cells. The low level of radioactivity from the FDG can be detected by the PET scanner and then generate images for diagnosis and treatment.
PET scans produce digital pictures that can, in many cases, identify many forms of cancer, damaged heart tissue, and brain disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and epilepsy. Technically, PET is a medical imaging technology that images the biology of disorders at the molecular level before anatomical changes are visible.
Please carefully follow any preparation instructions given to you prior to your PET scan. Dietary instructions are particularly important since eating before your exam can significantly decrease the absorption of the FDG tracer. In turn this will decrease the amount of radioactivity uptake in abnormal cells and generate a suboptimal scan.