What is a PET/CT scan?

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that allows your doctor to check for diseases in your body.

The scan uses a special dye that has radioactive tracers. These tracers are injected into a vein in your arm. Your organs and tissues then absorb the tracer. When highlighted under a PET scanner, the tracers help your doctor to see how well your organs and tissues are working. The PET scan can measure blood flow, oxygen use, glucose metabolism (how your body uses sugar), and much more.

A PET scan is typically an outpatient procedure. This means you can go about your day after the test is finished.

Who should get this test?

Your doctor may order a PET scan to inspect the blood flow, oxygen intake, and metabolism of your organs and tissues. PET scans are most commonly used to detect:

  • Detect cancer
  • Determine whether cancer has spread in the body
  • Assess the effectiveness of a treatment plan, such as cancer therapy
  • Determine if cancer has returned after treatment
  • Help diagnose dementia if other tests and exams do not provide enough information
  • Tell the difference between Parkinson disease and other movement disorders
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Unlike other imaging tests, such as CT or MRI, PET scans show problems at the cellular level. This gives your doctor the best view of complex systemic diseases, such as:

  • coronary artery disease
  • brain tumors
  • memory disorders
  • seizures

Is there radiation involved?

Yes. CT Scan is an imaging test which involves a small amount of radiation to show pictures of the organs, tissues, and bones of the body.

When will I receive my results?

Once completed, you will receive your results within 3-5 business days in your LabFinder portal.

How do I prepare? Do I need to fast?

Please refer to the simple preparation guidelines or consult with your doctor or radiology center where you are being treated. Do not forget to bring your LabFinder Order and Insurance Card to your appointment.

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