Positron Emission Tomography – Computed Tomography (PET/CT) Scanning
Positron emission tomography, also called PET imaging or a PET scan, is a type of nuclear medicine imaging. Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose or treat a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease and certain other abnormalities within the body.
Nuclear medicine or radionuclide imaging procedures are noninvasive and help the physician diagnose medical conditions. The imaging scans use radioactive materials called radiopharmaceuticals or radio tracers. A PET scan measures important body functions, such as blood flow, oxygen use, and sugar (glucose) metabolism to help doctors evaluate how well organs and tissues are functioning.
What are some common uses of the procedure?
PET and PET/CT scans are performed to:
- detect cancer
- determine whether a cancer has spread in the body
- assess the effectiveness of a treatment plan, such as cancer therapy
- determine if a cancer has returned after treatment