About the Treatment

    The PET- CT, the full form of which is Positron Emission Tomography - Computed Tomography is a technique that is used for medical purposes. This imaging technique involves a device that uses a single gantry system to combine both (PET) Positron Emission Tomography scanning system and an X- ray (CT) computed tomography scanning system to come up with an output image in one single session that involves results from both the systems infused together into a single co- registered image. The functional image which shows the body’s spatial distribution of metabolic or biochemical activity, obtained through a PET, allows the physicians to correlate with the anatomic image obtained through the CT scan much more accurately.

  • Before going for scan thorough discussion with the doctor should be done.
  • You might need to be on fasting for 4 - 6 hours.
  • For some scans, you might need to drink only clear liquids after midnight the night before the scan.
  • However in rare cases fasting may not be required.
  • All medications that the patient is taking are reviewed by the doctor
  • History of any allergies or other medical conditions should be mentioned.
  • If you are breastfeeding or might be pregnant, tell your doctor.
  • A Consent form is filled explaining the risks and benefits of a PET scan.

  • The test will take 2- 3 hours in totality.
  • An intravenous (IV) line is placed by the technologist or a nurse
  • The radioactive substance is given in the IV & it goes into your vein.
  • You might need to drink a dye which gives a metallic taste, or the technologist/nurse might put it in your IV. The dye helps in getting a detailed picture.
  • If you get the dye into a vein (an IV), the area you get it might feel hot or itchy.
  • The substance takes around 30 to 90 minutes to reach the tissues that need to be scanned.
  • If a more serious reaction to the dye takes place, such as trouble breathing, please tell the technologist immediately.
  • You need to lie quietly without moving
  • If the PET- CT is for radiation treatment planning, then you might be required to wear a mask or cast during the scan to keep your body in the same position as for the treatment.
  • When the PET- CT machine starts, the table slides quickly through the hole in the centre.
  • A technologist will watch the test from a nearby room.
  • The technologist might adjust the table during the scan to get pictures from different angles.
  • You can expect to hear whirring or clicking sounds from the machine.
  • If everything remains stable, then the scan only takes about 30 minutes.
  • Once the scanning is done a doctor looks at the images and if they are not clear, you might need another scan.

  • The patient may even be allowed to leave the PET centre immediately if there are no complications.
  • The patient must drink loads of water/fluids throughout the day to flush out the radioactive chemical from the body.

  • PET Scans usually have no possible risks as the radiation dose used in this procedure is minimal and the same leaves the body through natural means by the end of the day.
  • Allergic reactions to radiopharmaceuticals might occur but are very rare and are usually mild.
  • Injection of the radiotracer may cause a slight pain and vague redness which should rapidly resolve.
  • If the patient is breastfeeding or might be pregnant, please do inform the doctor.

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