A PET-CT combines the best features of anatomic imaging and physiological evaluation. Two scans are performed simultaneously – a computed tomographic scan, which evaluates anatomy, and a positron emission tomography scan, which evaluates physiology by studying where glucose is being used in the body. It is the most accurate tool for imaging many cancers.
How should I prepare for my PET-CT?
On the evening prior to imaging, minimize carbohydrate and sugar consumption. Do not eat the following foods that evening – cheese, bread, bagels, cereal, toast, or candy. Do not drink milk or alcohol. Do eat a high fat, high protein meal. Do not do strenuous exercise the day before your scan.
On the day of exam, eat a high fat, high protein, low carbohydrate meal three to five hours before your scan. Drink water and take your usual medications.
What happens during the exam?
You will get an IV and have an injection of a radiotracer. It needs one hour to travel through your body and be taken up by your tissues. Then combined PET and CT scanning will be performed. It will take approximately 40 minutes.
When will I get my results?
The specially trained radiologist will send a report to your physician. He or she will discuss your exam results with you.
Radiologyinfo.org for Patients
The radiology information resource for patients. RadiologyInfo.org tells you how various X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, radiation therapy and other procedures are performed. It also addresses what you may experience and how to prepare for the exams. The website contains over 200 procedure, exam and disease descriptions covering diagnostic and interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy and radiation safety and is updated frequently with new information. All material on the RadiologyInfo.org website is reviewed and approved by experts in the field of radiology from the ACR and RSNA, as well as other professional radiology organizations.