PET/CT scan combines positron emission tomography (PET) with computed tomography (CT) into one machine. From one single PET/CT scan, your doctor will have information about the structure and function of cells and tissues in your body. Since this diagnostic test is on the cellular level, often it can identify changes that signify early stages of disease. The most common uses of PET/CT scans are to detect and determine the spread of cancer, assess the effectiveness of cancer therapy and study brain abnormalities.

Depending on the areas your doctor is imaging, the average PET/CT scan is less than 45 minutes. The scanning is painless, and for most people the buzzing and clicking of the machine as it takes your images is what most people comment on and remember.

Some patients may be asked for a urine sample for a pregnancy test. As with most imaging tests, pregnant women and their doctors should discuss the risk of having the test while they are pregnant.

PET CT Scan review imagePlease do not bring:

  • Jewelry, watches, credit cards and hearing aids, all of which can be damaged.
  • Pins, hairpins, metal zippers and similar metallic items, which can distort images.
  • Removable dental work.
  • Pens, pocketknives and eyeglasses.
  • In most cases, a PET/CT exam is safe for patients with metal implants, except for a few types.

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