PET CT- A Revolutionising Benchmark at Making Diagnosis!

by Mark

A PET scan- positron emission tomography scan is a revolutionary technique at the diagnostic domain. This scan reveals the biochemical and metabolic functions of the body’s organs and tissues. The PET scan technique works with the radioactive drug. This drug is otherwise also called a tracer. The tracer shows both atypical and typical metabolic activity. A PET scan can capably detect and show the earliest atypical metabolic changes that cannot be detected using other imaging tests, including CT scan and MRI scan. PET imaging is often used as a hybrid technique combining it with the MRI or CT known as PET-MRI and PET-CT scan respectively.

What are The Uses of PET CT scans?

The scan helps in determining 

  • Cancer including 
    • Breast cancer, 
    • Lung cancer 
    • Thyroid cancer.
    • Cancers in brain
  • Coronary artery disease, 
  • Heart attack 
  • Other heart problems.
  • Brain disorders including 
    • Brain tumours, 
    • Epilepsy  
    • Dementia 
    • Alzheimer’s disease.

How Do I Prepare For PET-CT Scan?

  • Give lists of any ongoing medications, vitamins or supplements if you are taking any.
  • Tell about any known allergy.
  • Tell if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Fast for six hours before the test. 
  • Separate instructions will be given for diabetics.
  • Drink only water.
  • Avoid caffeine for the last 24 hours.
  • Wear comfortable clothes 
  • Do not wear any metal accessories
  • Inform if you are claustrophobic

What should I expect during a PET scan?

  • You will be injected with IV radiotracer injection (Fluorodeoxyglucose-FDG).
  • There will be a quiet waiting period to allow the tracer to get absorbed in your body.
  • You will be made to lie on a scan table 
  • The scan table will slide into the PET/CT scanner. 
  • This scanner is doughnut-shaped.
  • The scan will take around 30 minutes, 
  • You need to lie perfectly still during the scan. Movements can blur out the resultant images.
  • It is normal to hear clicking and buzzing sounds while scanning.
  • Once the scan is complete, you will be free.

Are There Any Side Effects of PET-CT Scans?

There are no side effects as such due to PET CT scan as it is conducted under safety protocols. You might have risks 

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Like an allergic reaction to tracer dye.

Therefore, you should consult your doctor thoroughly before taking any scan.

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