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PET CT

What is PET CT ?

PET/CT is an advanced, fused image that combines two essential technologies: positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT). The combined imagery available through this advanced technology makes it possible for your physician to detect problems earlier, make a more accurate diagnosis, prescribe follow-up care with greater confidence and helps eliminate unnecessary hospital stays.

Like the lines on a map, a CT image displays precise anatomy. It does not reveal functional chemistry.

Like seeing storm intensity without an exact location, a PET scan reveals abnormal biological activity – in most cases long before such activity would be visible on an Xray, MRI or stand-alone CT.

A functional PET image perfectly matched with a structural CT image indicates possible problem areas along with a precise location.

What can PET/CT tell me?

The PET/CT scan is most effective at revealing information about cancer and brain disorders within the body and is a highly effective treatment in early detection, and limiting the spread of disease.

  • A PET/CT scan can detect abnormalities earlier than they could be detected by more conventional means.
  • The PET/CT images help visualize any spread of cancer throughout the body.
  • A PET/CT scan makes it possible to determine if a tumor is benign or malignant.
  • A PET/CT can be used as a follow-up to determine the effectiveness of cancer therapies.
  • For those with a history of cancer, your physician may recommend an annual PET/CT scan to monitor for recurrence.

A PET/CT scan is also highly effective when used in the diagnosis and evaluation of patients with memory disorders of an underdetermined cause. For example:

  • A PET/CT scans allow for a very consistent diagnostic pattern for Alzheimer’s Diseases. This pattern can often be recognized with a PET/CT scan years before a physician would be able to confirm the diagnosis.
  • A PET/CT scan can be used to differentiate Alzheimer’s from other types of dementia or depression.
  • Using special tracers, a PET/CT scan can be used to determine if a patient has Parkinson’s disease.
  • A PET/CT scan can also be used to pinpoint epileptogenic tissue in the brain to identify and direct the cure of seizure disorders.

Types of Tests

At Molecular, we undertake the following PET-CT scans:

  • WB PET CT with/ without i.v Contrast
  • PET-CT Brain
  • PET-CT for Myocardial viability

How is the PET-CT test done?

  • When you come for whole body PET scan you are requested to bring your doctor’s prescription and any previous scans and reports (CT, MRI, PET-CT). This will help our Nuclear Medicine Specialist to evaluate and plan the procedure accordingly.
  • Remove any/all metal objects, such as a belt or jewellery before the scan, as these might interfere with imaging.
  • You may be advised not to eat anything at least 4 to 5 hrs before the scheduled appointment time. Preferably low carbohydrate diet should be taken 24-48 hrs prior to the study.However, you may be allowed to drink water.
  • If you are suffering from diabetes, please convey this to the doctor as the procedure alters the blood sugar levels. Your blood sugar should be within the normal range on the day of the test. The test would be cancelled/postponed if your blood sugar is high
  • Bring your latest (not more than one month old) KFT report (Blood Urea & Serum Creatinine) which is required for contrast studies
  • You may be asked to change into a loose-fitted gown, which is provided by Molecular.
  • Your clinical history will be taken by the doctor. Nursing staff will ask you to change into the ‘hospital gown and pyjama’.
  • After checking your random blood sugar, the nursing staff will insert an intravenous (I.V) line into the superficial vein of your arm/hand. You will be taken to a ‘quiet room’ and at an appropriate time, the Nuclear Medicine Specialist along with the Physicist/ Technologist will inject the radiopharmaceutical (F-18 FDG). You will have to remain calm, quiet and in isolation during this period. Please do not come out of the quiet room until you are asked to. You may be asked to drink the oral contrast which is required for the CT in PET scanning. You will be under surveillance via CCTV, so that the staff can monitor your well-being.
  • Before imaging/scanning, you will be asked to urinate in order to empty your bladder.
  • You will be asked to lie in the supine position on the table under the PET-CT machine. An I.V contrast (if asked by referring physician) will be given for taking the diagnostic CT scan followed by the PET scans.
  • The PET scans trace the distribution of F-18 FDG throughout your body. These scans take about 30 minutes and you will need to lie still for that time. Sometimes you may be asked to come again for delayed images.
  • Ensure that the I.V. line is taken out once the test is completed.
  • After the test is complete, the patient can leave the hospital unless some other instruction is provided by the doctor.
  • The patient should drink plenty of water to give a passage to tracers out of the body. Generally, after two days, the tracers are completely diluted out of the body
  • A ‘report collection slip’ will be handed over to you by the Technical Staff/Staff nurse at the completion of the test. As soon as your reports are ready an SMS will be sent to the mobile number registered with Molecular. You can collect your reports from the Molecular’s report collecting desk. Also, you have an option to receive your reports online (contact the present medical staff to get yourself registered with us).

Benefits & Risks

With a plethora of benefits that come with PET scan, there are some minor risks too, which the patient should be aware of.

  • Early diagnosis of diseases.
  • No recovery time required.
  • Fast procedure.
  • Accuracy in staging and localisation.
  • Precise treatment and monitoring.
  • Exposure to radiation
    The amount of radioactivity given in this procedure is strictly within the recommended national level. During a CT scan, you’re briefly exposed to more radiation than you would be during a plain X-ray. However Molecular’s GE Discovery IQ techniques expose you to the least possible/negligible amount of radiation.
  • Harm to unborn babies (pregnant ladies)
    Make sure you inform your doctor if you’re pregnant so that he is able to recommend a different examination such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to avoid the risk of exposing your fetus to the radiation.
  • Breastfeeding Mothers
    If you are breastfeeding, do inform the department at the time of taking appointment as you may be advised to avoid breastfeeding for a few hours after the completion of test as some radioactive substances are secreted in breast milk.
  • Reactions to contrast material
    In certain cases, your doctor may recommend PET with contrast enhanced CT where a contrast material, special dye, is infused through a vein in your arm during your CT imaging. Although rare, the contrast material can cause medical problems or allergic reactions. Most reactions are mild and result in a rash or itchiness. If you experience any non-subsiding allergic reaction inform your doctor immediately. Also, inform the department about any history of allergic reactions to the contrast at the time of taking appointment.