PET CT Scan
Understanding PET/CT Scans
- Cancer cells grow at a very fast rate.
- Growing cells use glucose as a primary source of energy. The faster the cells grow, the more glucose is consumed.
- A form of glucose called FDG, which emits particles called positrons, is injected in the the patient.
- The FDG molecules are consumed more in fast-growing cancer cells than in normal cells, resulting in concentrations of the FDG, and positrons, in areas of cancer.
- A PET/CT scan detects where positrons are being emitted from within the patient and provides images that map the locations. PET FDG mapping is combined with a CT image's structural detail in order to identify both the presence of the disease and its precise location.
Preparing for your PET/CT Scan
- For 6 hours before your test, do not eat or drink (except water). Do not even chew gum.
- Your last meal before the scan should be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. For example: Dinner: steak, baked chicken, fish, cheese, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms. No pasta, potatoes, rice or bread. Breakfast: eggs bacon, sausage. No breakfast should be eaten if you have an appointment before noon.
- Continue to take any medication prescribed by your physician. if you have been advised to take your medications with food, eat nothing more than a few soda crackers, 4-8 hours prior to your exam.
- Avoid caffeine, sugar, tobacco and heavy exercise for 24 hours prior to your exam.
- If you have diabetes, discuss this with your physician and call the Radiology staff 48 hours before your exam.
- If you are, or think you may be pregnant, discuss this with your physician. Generally PET/CT is not performed on pregnant women.
Arrive on time
- Please arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
- If you must cancel or reschedule, please do so at least 24 hours before your appointment.