Positron Emission Tomography

Positron Emission Tomography

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) – A type of nuclear medicine scan. Most PET scanners are combined with a CT scanner. The merging of these two pieces of equipment provides a more accurate and specific diagnosis, showing anatomy with overlaying physiology. PET is used to detect and determine cancer, the effects of a heart attack, and to evaluate brain abnormalities such as: neurological illnesses, epilepsy, tumors, memory disorders, Alzheimer’s, and other dementias. The radiopharmaceutical is administered to the patient by injection or inhaled.

What to Expect

The PET scanner is ring-shaped with an attached table, the table moves through the ring in the middle of the scanner. An IV line will be gently placed to administer the radiopharmaceuticals. The technologist will call you the day before to confirm, prepare, explain the procedure, and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

The length of time for PET/CT procedures vary, depending on the type of exam; actual scanning time may take 30 minutes to an hour.

Preparing for Your Exam

Preparations will vary depending on your specific procedure. The proper preps will be discussed during the scheduling process.

  • Bring the physicians order to your appointment.
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment. We need to register you and have you fill out a medical history questionnaire.
  • Bring a list of your medications and vitamins, please include dosage.
  • Please avoid wearing any jewelry or clothing that has metal on it. (zippers on pants are OK)
  • Women should not wear girdles, under-wire bras, or front-closing bras or dresses.

Scheduling Your Appointment

PET/CT exams require you to schedule an appointment. Please call our toll free Patient Call Center at 1-855-884-1858 to schedule an appointment.

Make an Appointment

Request an appointment with a specialist at University Hospitals.

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