WHAT IS A PET/CT?
PET imaging is a process by which the biologic functions of the body are able to be imaged. By using a small amount of a biological marker the PET scan can assess areas of abnormal glucose metabolism in the body. This change in the metabolism may be seen before a physical change can be seen on a CT or MRI.
The latest advancement in imaging has combined the PET scanner with a CT scanner (PET/CT) allowing areas of interest to be more accurately localized.
Chesapeake Medical Imaging currently offers the PET/CT scan to help in the diagnosis of:
THE PET/CT EXAM
You will sit in a chair and receive an injection of a small amount of radioactive material called fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) or Sodium Fluoride (NaF) depending on the type of exam being conducted, in a vein in your arm. We special order this short-lived isotope with a half-life of about 2 hours, just for your exam. Please call the day before your PET exam if you are unable to keep your appointment.
You will be asked to sit quietly for a period of time, usually about 60 minutes. During this time you must sit and relax and will not be able to get up and walk around, talk to friends, or read. This allows the tracer to travel throughout your body while it is in a relaxed state.
You will be asked to lie down on a table, which will move you through the PET/CT scanner. The machine has a larger opening than an MRI, and it does not make any sound. This part of the test usually takes about 30 minutes. This injection will not make you feel different at all.
Upon completion of your study the images will be reviewed and interpreted by our Board Certified Radiologist and a report explaining the findings of the exam will be given to your doctor. You may also speak directly with the radiologist who will be reading your study. If necessary, we will retrieve previous imaging studies from another imaging facility to compare with your most recent imaging.
PREPARING FOR YOUR EXAM
You should have nothing to eat or drink except water six hours prior to your scheduled exam time, this includes no gum, mints or cough medicine. The last meal that you eat prior to your appointment should be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Avoid pasta, bread and sugar. Excellent choices for this meal include: eggs; green, leafy vegetables; red meat; poultry and fish.
You may take all of your medications as normal with the exception of anxiety medication. Please inform our staff if you are currently taking anxiety medication.
Do not consume caffeine or tobacco products for a full 24 hours prior to your appointment. Wear warm, comfortable clothing and try to avoid clothing with metal, buttons, zippers and underwire bras.
Your PET/CT study will last approximately 2 hours.