GENERAL OVERVIEW ABOUT THE EXAM
PET/CT is a special non-invasive imaging technique that combines the anatomical images of a CT (or CAT scan) with a PET scanner that determines the metabolic or functional activity of cells in your body. The images are then fused (or co-registered) to assist the Radiologist in determining precisely where the normal or abnormal cells are located in your body.
Since its widespread introduction into clinical practice in the early 2000’s, it has revolutionized the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, especially cancer.
The following are the most common clinical indications:
• Determine if something is scar or cancer
• Stage cancer (determine if cancer has spread)
• Evaluate cancer treatment response
• Dementia and Alzheimer’s evaluation
• Evaluate blood flow to the heart
• Evaluate for bone lesions (NaF PET/CT)
Types of CT
All of the PET/CT examinations at Radiology Associates Imaging are performed on state-of-the-art Time-of-Flight (TOF) PET/CT machines. These machines use the latest technology to offer high-resolution images even in larger patients. This allows our Radiologists to be more confident about their diagnosis and localization of abnormalities.
Whole Body FDG PET/CT and NaF (Sodium Fluoride) PET/CT Bone Scan
We currently offer both whole body FDG PET/CT and NaF (Sodium Fluoride) PET/CT bone scans.
What to Expect
Whole Body FDG PET/CT
Once you have checked in at our facility, an intravenous (IV) line will be started and your blood sugar will be tested. Next, radioactive sugar will be injected and there will be a delay of approximately 90 minutes prior to imaging. You will be placed in a special waiting room area where you can relax and minimize activity and talking.
After 90 minutes, you will be escorted to the PET/CT scanner suite where you will lie flat in a comfortable position for imaging. The imaging equipment is very similar in appearance to a CT scanner. Total imaging time is approximately 20 minutes and is completely painless.
NaF (Sodium Fluoride) PET/CT Bone Scan
After arriving at the imaging center, an intravenous (IV) line will be placed through which a radioactive sodium fluoride (the same ingredient that is in toothpaste) agent will be injected. There are no known adverse reactions to this injection.
There will then be a 90-minute waiting period prior to imaging. Patients may leave during this time but are encouraged to remain onsite or nearby in order to remain on schedule. During this time, we suggest that you drink at least 30 ounces of water to improve scan quality and help your body clear the imaging agent from your body.
Immediately prior to your scan, you may be asked to remove any clothing or material that contain metal. You will also be asked to empty your bladder. These tasks ensure optimal image quality and accuracy. Total Scan time is approximately 20 minutes.