Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
What is positron emission tomography (PET)?
|PET differs from other nuclear medicine examinations in that PET detects metabolism within body tissues, whereas other types of nuclear medicine examinations detect the amount of a radioactive substance collected in body tissue in the location under examination. |
|Until recently, PET procedures were done in dedicated PET centers. The equipment used in these centers is quite expensive. However, new technology allows gamma camera systems (a device to scan patients who have been injected with small amounts of radioactive materials), such as those used in other nuclear medicine procedures, to be adapted for use as PET scanners. The equipment cost is much less, and scans can be done much faster using this new equipment.|
How is PET performed?
|PET scans can be done on an outpatient basis. It is also possible that some hospital inpatients may undergo a PET examination for certain conditions. |
|It is not necessary to fast before the examination, however, a patient may be advised to abstain from alcohol, caffeine, some medications, and tobacco. |
|Although each hospital may have specific protocols in place, generally, a PET scan procedure follows this process:|
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