Exam Preparation - PET-CT

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Printable Information for Patients
Printable Information for Patients

Preparing for your PET-CT Scan

What to bring with you to your PET-CT scan appointment

Coming to your appointment on time is very important

Your appointment time is carefully chosen to insure that the radiotracers are as fresh as they need to be to obtain an accurate study. If you cannot arrive on time or if you need to reschedule your appointment, please call us right away at 732-390-0030, and we will give you further instructions.

What to expect during and after your scan

What is PET-CT?

Positron Emission Tomography or PET is a special Nuclear Medicine test used to measure changes in the body that are associated with many diseases. PET-CT provides information about metabolic or body process changes which may occur before changes in anatomy. The metabolic information from the PET and the anatomic data from the CT combine to help best locate any lesions in the body.

The CT scan works to bring together the data. It does not function as a full diagnostic CT scan. The CT scan is usually performed first and then followed-up, with a separate PET-CT exam.

What is FDG?

FDG, or F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose, is a radioactive tracer. This tracer is a form of glucose, or sugar which is injected before the PET-CT scan. The PET-CT scanner will show how your body is utilizing the radioactive glucose. If there is a specific disease, the glucose may highlight or take up more glucose in the diseased area than in other parts of the body. Physicians can then determine how to best treat those areas.

What are the benefits of a PET-CT study?

The PET-CT scan will provide your physician with information that is not available with any other type of study. The PET-CT scan can help better diagnose and stage many different diseases. The study can often help your physician plan the best treatment and monitor how well the chosen treatment is working.

What are the risks of the PET-CT scan?

The PET-CT scan requires exposure to a small amount of radiopharmaceutical that is not considered harmful to your health. There are no reported side-effects from the FDG. Pregnant or nursing women should not have a PET-CT scan without discussing the risks with their doctor.

How will I find out the scan results?

The results of your PET-CT scan at University Radiology will be called or faxed to your referring physician usually the same day. A copy of your PET-CT scan report, as well as printed images, will be sent to your physician. Your referring physician will then review the scan findings with you.

What if I have questions?

If you have further questions about your PET-CT scan, please call us at 732-390-0030 and we will be happy to speak with you.

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