A PET-CT scan is a highly effective imaging methodology that mixes both Positron emission tomography and computed tomography. This combined methodology is to provide information about the problem you are suffering from. This diagnostic examination involves the use of a radioactive tracer to get images of the body according to the detection of radiation from the release of tiny particles such as positrons.
PET-CT scan gives detailed information such as how well the tissues and organs are working. In this way, it becomes easy to evaluate the tissues and organs not only for detecting the problems but diagnose and stage the disorders. It is a highly effective methodology in assisting the doctor with surgical treatment as well as a therapeutic treatment. Apart from this doctor uses this methodology for evaluating the efficacy of the ongoing treatment.
PET-CT scans are usually performed using the radioactive tracer that is injected before the scan. The main role of the radioactive tracer is to highlight the area having abnormal cells. After the accumulation of the radioactive in the body’s cells, during the scanning procedure, the areas where abnormal cells may be located will be highlighted. The PET-CT scanner then detects the location and intensity of the disease.
PET-CT scans provide detailed information about your body parts that are not clearly available with other imaging techniques such as CT scans, MRI, X-Ray, and ultrasound.
How is Pet-CT Scan Imaging Useful?
PET-CT scan imaging is useful as it helps to:
- Detect and diagnose the diseases or disorders present in the body at its early stages.
- Identify the problem even before you become symptomatic.
- Give detailed information about the diseases even when other diagnostic procedures give negative results
- Confirm the area of disease along with its severity.
- Diagnose life-threatening problems such as cancer.
- Confirm whether cancer has spread in the body and the area of spread.
- Evaluate the areas of the heart muscle to detect the negative effects of a heart attack.
- Design and plan the customized treatment therapy.
- Change the treatment plans if required according to the biological behavior of the tissues.
- Identify the progression of the disease and its recurrence.
It’s very true about the PET-CT scan is that it is highly beneficial imaging procedure. So, Further, we will discuss how PET-CT scan imaging is beneficial for you.
How is a Pet-CT Scan Beneficial?
Doctors take it as a highly effective and beneficial imaging scan because of different reasons:
- The main benefit of this scan is that it identifies the modifications in the body at the cellular level. So, this helps in detecting the early onset of the problem inside your body before it becomes noticeable on another imaging scan.
- It gives unique information about the tissues, and organs that usually remain unobtained using other imaging procedures.
- It provides the exact target and helps the doctor in deciding on the radiation therapy
- In the case of cancer or tumor, it is a highly sensitive and effective imaging tool as compared to other imaging procedures for the detection and staging of tumors.
What Are the Risks Associated With Pet-CT Scans?
- Allergic reactions such as itching, redness, headache, etc. from the radioactive tracer.
- Mild discomfort with the injection of radioactive material.
- In the case of multiple scans, there is a higher risk of developing cancer.
- Usually, the question that comes into mind is, whether the preparation is needed before going for the scan.
How Do I Prepare for Pet CT Scan?
Before going for the scan, you need to follow the instructions from your doctor properly, so that there is no chance of any false results.
Some of the instructions are:
Before the procedure, you need to inform the doctor/ technologist if you have any of the following:
- Pregnant or think you may be
- kidney failure
- Allergy from iodine substances.
- History of reaction to intravenous contrast media.
By knowing each and every detail of your medical history, the doctor can easily decide whether a PET-CT scan is suitable for you or whether any other imaging procedure is sufficient.
Apart from the mentioned above, you need to follow the instructions related to your food and daily activities such as:
- Avoid Strenuous exercises for 24 hours. The strenuous exercises may include jogging, gaming, cycling as well as swimming.
- Fast for 6 hours.
- Avoid other fluids for 6 hours but water for 30 minutes.
How is a Pet CT Scan Performed?
Before you have the scan, the technologist may give you contrast media in a different way such as orally through mouth, inhalation, or intravenously into your vein. The method chosen for contrast media depends on the body parts to be scanned. It will take around 60 minutes for the tracer to be scattered throughout the body for better visibility of the abnormal area. During the 60 minutes, you will be instructed to keep your body and mind relaxed. The radioactive tracers accumulate in the area of increased chemical activity and abnormalities.
After an hour, the technologist will take you for scanning and you will lie on the examination table, which will slide you through the scanner. During the scanning process, a unique gamma camera will capture the images and helps your doctor to view the functions and working of organs and tissues.
Is There Any Instruction That I Need to Follow After the Completion of the Procedure?
Post scanning procedure, you need to follow:
- Drink plenty of water to remove the radioactive tracer from your body.
- Avoid resuming breastfeeding for 24 hours.
- If you experience a severe level of allergic symptoms such as nasal congestion, tremors, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, etc. please inform the doctor immediately.
How Long Does Pet CT Scan Take?
To perform the procedure, the technologist gives you a radioactive tracer and asks you to wait for 60 minutes. The scanning procedure itself takes around 30 to 40 mins. So, the entire procedure of radioactive administration and scanning takes about 2 hours.
What is the Cost of a Pet CT Scan?
The PET CT scan cost depends on the type of PET CT scan for which purpose the doctor has recommended you this scan. You can know the exact cost of your prescribed PET CT scan by contacting the PET CT scan center near you.
PET-CT scan- A most effective diagnostic tool that combines Positron emission tomography with computed tomography is an imaging procedure that helps doctors in diagnosing, detect, and manage diseases related to the brain, heart, nervous system, and prostate gland more effectively.