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As the name implies, PET/CT combines two state-of-the-art technologies in one. PET (Positron Emission Tomography) highlights the abnormal metabolic function of cancer cells. The CT (Computed Tomography) can then depict the exact location of the tumor cells with precision and clarity. Together, these images create 3-D pictures that enable doctors to make more informed decisions regarding treatment. PET/CT allows for early detection of cancer recurrence and can improve chances for treatment success. The data obtained from a PET/CT can also be used in treating cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer's disease.
The exam will be performed at the Main Hospital. It is very similar to the CT exam in that you will lie very still on a table while being moved in and out of a doughnut-shaped machine. The exam itself will take 45 minutes to an hour. Please arrive one hour prior to your scheduled appointment time.
No exercise and eat a low-carb diet 24 hours before your exam (no sugar, pasta, bread, potatoes, rice, corn, carrots, fruit, fruit juice). Do not eat or drink anything 6 hours prior to your exam. You should not chew gum, eat mints, or cough drops prior to your exam. Please wear warm, comfortable clothing.
If you have any questions about your PET/CT exam, please do not hesitate to contact the Nuclear Medicine Department at (434) 654-7139.