What Can a PET CT Scan Detect?
PET CT Scans (also known as PET Scans) have been used for medical diagnosis since the 1970s. The technique has been continuously refined since then and is an essential tool in many areas of medicine.
In general, PET Scans are a medical imaging test that lets your doctor see how your body is working. They can help diagnose diseases, guide doctors during treatment, and monitor how well it’s working.
A PET Scan uses a special camera that combines the functions of both positron emission tomography and computed tomography. A positron emission tomography, or PET, is a nuclear medicine imaging test used to measure how well organs and tissues work in your body. A computed tomography scan, also called a CT scan, is an X-ray procedure that uses special X-ray equipment to take clear and detailed images of your body.
What can they detect?
Overall, PET Scans are a valuable tool for diagnosing and managing many health conditions, including cancer, heart disease, and brain disorders.
PET Scans are beneficial for cancer diagnosis because they can show how aggressive a tumor is and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. Because of this, PET Scans can help diagnose and stage cancer. Doctors also use PET Scans to monitor cancer treatment progress and look for signs of recurrence.
Recently, PET Scans have also been used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The scans can show changes in the brain that are associated with these conditions.
PET Scan statistics vary depending on the condition diagnosed. In general, PET Scans have a high accuracy rate for diagnosing many diseases.
However, while PET Scans are very accurate, they are not perfect. False-positive results do occur, which means that the scan shows an abnormality when there is none. False-negative results can also occur, which means that the scan does not show an abnormality when there actually is one.
Preparing for a PET Scan
It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions when preparing for a PET Scan. Your doctor may request that you fast for several hours before the test and avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol. You may need to drink a contrast solution before the test, which helps improve the quality of the images.
Before the test, you must remove any jewelry or metal objects you are wearing. You will also need to remove any clothing that contains metal, such as zippers or buttons. Your radiology team will also give you a gown to wear during the test.
During the PET Scan, you will lie on a table while the scanner takes pictures of your body. The table will slide into the scanner, which is large and round like a donut. You will need to hold still during the scan, which takes about 30 minutes.
After the PET Scan, you can return to your normal activities. A doctor will interpret the images and look for any areas of abnormal activity. Additional testing may be needed to determine the cause of any abnormal findings.
Schedule Your PET CT Scan Today
At ImageCare Radiology, we offer diagnostic imaging services, including PET Scans. If your doctor requested a PET Scan or any other imaging service, call us today at 973-871-3333 to schedule an appointment or complete our convenient online appointment request form.