PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is a valuable diagnostic tool that can provide information that in many cases no other imaging test can. It is a nuclear medicine imaging procedure that looks at the metabolic activity in your body and can reveal changes in cellular function. CT (Computed Tomography) combines X-rays with computer technology to create accurate, detailed diagnostic images of structures in your body including their size, shape and location
PET/CT simultaneously images and merges these two state-of-the-art scanner technologies to create one powerful view of your entire body. Combining the functional information of PET with the anatomical information of CT provides a one-of-kind, 3-dimensional image – your body’s anatomy as well as its biological functions.
PET/CT can provide important information about a variety of conditions including certain cancers, cardiac disease, and brain disorders such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease enabling your physician to make a more accurate diagnosis.
Benefits Unlike Any Other Imaging Technique
Information provided by a PET/CT scan has widespread applications. Some of the benefits of PET/CT include:
- Helps physicians determine likely outcome of different treatments
- Pinpoints the best approach for treatment
- Able to monitor patient treatment progress
- Provides early diagnosis: changes in functional activity shown on a PET/CT occur before physical changes or symptoms appear
PET/CT Scan Preparation
How do I prepare for the exam?
- A BayCare Imaging Professional will call you prior to your appointment to provide specific instructions. The representative will also verify your health and insurance information.
- Refrain from strenuous exercise 24 hours before your exam.
- Do not eat or drink anything except water for six hours before your exam. Also, please do not chew gum.
- If you are diabetic, please inform your physician, and contact your BayCare Imaging Center for special instructions.
- Continue to take your medications, with water, unless instructed not to do so by your physician.
- Please bring all of your previous films and/or radiology study results (e.g., CT scan, MRI, bone scan, ultrasound or PET) with you.
- We suggest wearing warm, comfortable clothing.
- Notify a BayCare Imaging Professional if you are nursing or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to verify your registration information.
What should I expect during the exam?
- A PET/CT scan is painless and has no side effects.
- Typically, your appointment will last at least two hours. Your PET/CT scan itself will take approximately 20-45 minutes.
- Once you arrive, you will receive an IV in your arm or hand for an injection of a small amount of radioactive glucose, which is distributed throughout the body.
- About 30-70 minutes after the injection, you will empty your bladder, then lie down on a comfortable scanner bed.
- The table will move slowly through the dual donut-shaped PET/CT scanner as it acquires the information needed to generate diagnostic pictures.
- You will be asked to lie very still and breathe normally during the scan because movement can interfere with the results.
- A trained technologist will monitor you during the exam and answer your questions.
What happens after the exam?
- Unless you have received special instructions, you will be able to eat and drink immediately.
- Drinking a lot of fluid soon after the exam will help remove any of the radioactive sugar that may still be in your system.
- A radiologist who specializes in the specific area of the body that was examined will review your images.
- The radiologist prepares a diagnostic report to share with your doctor.
- Your doctor will consider this information in context of your overall care and talk with you about the results
To make an appointment, please call:
Hillsborough County: (813) 635-3610
Pinellas/Pasco Counties: (727) 461-8555