Positron emission tomography (PET) is an advanced medical imaging examination that provides detailed information on the function of an organ or system in your body.
A PET-CT or PET-MRI scan can provide more information in staging cancer than MRI or CT scans alone. These scans can also show how well a cancer treatment is working. For the heart, a specialised rubidium PET-CT scan can determine whether the heart muscle is receiving sufficient blood flow under different conditions.
During a PET scan, a radionuclide tracer is injected into the bloodstream. As radionuclide tracers usually accumulate in diseased tissues, PET scanners can use the radionuclide tracers to create multi-dimensional images of your body.
Most PET scanners are combined with CT scans. This allows the structural information provided by CT images to be combined with the PET’s functional information.
Images with a colour map from your PET scan will be prepared for you to discuss with your specialist doctor.
A PET scan can:
A PET scan can find cancers before other imaging techniques such as CT and MRI scans. It can also help your doctor to determine where cancer might be spreading.
Your doctor may recommend a PET scan to:
A PET scan can further assist in the planning of surgery for epileptic seizures by showing which part of your brain is responsible for epilepsy.
It is also used to assess Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease because the resulting images can show the areas of the brain that are not functioning normally. Early detection of these neurological disorders can lead to more effective treatment.
A PET scan is a safe and painless procedure. However, if you suffer from claustrophobia or the fear of enclosed spaces, you may be concerned about entering the machine.
Please discuss this with your doctor so that we may tailor optimal care for you.