pet scan

Main characteristics
•an imaging test that allows doctors to check for disease in your body.

•The scan uses radioactive tracers in a special dye.

• These tracers are injected into a vein in your arm and are then absorbed by your organs and tissues.

•When highlighted under a PET scanner, the tracers allow doctors to see how well your organs and tissues are working.

•The PET scan is able to measure blood flow, oxygen use, glucose metabolism (how your body uses sugar), and much more.

•A PET scan is typically an outpatient procedure, meaning that you will be able to go about your day after the test is complete.

advantages
•The scan makes small movements, so it doesn’t ruin the scan.

•Its ability to study body function through biochemical functions means that it is able to detect disease before changes in the anatomy become apparent making it more effective in diagnosing than other imaging tests.

•By studying metabolic functions in patients, PET imaging is able to be used as an alternative to biopsy and other exploratory surgeries to determine how much a disease has spread.

•Its ability to distinguish between benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors make it a more accurate medical tool that can reduce the number of unnecessary surgeries performed due to incorrect diagnosis and staging data.

Is effectively used to diagnose the early stages of neurological illnesses such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias.

disadvantages
•The image doesn’t show as clearly as a fMRI scan

•You can only have the scan done safely the first few times because of the radioactivity isotope given

•It may not be suitable for women who are pregnant and/or breast feeding

•Radioactive material may cause allergic or injection-site reactions in some people

•PET scanners cause some people to feel claustrophobic, which may mean sedation is required

performer/ technologist
•A PET scan is given at the radiology, nuclear medicine, or radiation oncology department of a hospital or at an imaging center.

•It is performed by a nuclear medicine or radiologic technologist (health care professionals who are specially trained and certified to operate PET scanners)

•It is interpreted by a nuclear medicine physician or a radiologist (doctors who perform and interpret imaging tests to identify problems in the body)

patient expectations
•You will be asked not to eat anything for 4 to 6 hours before the scan.

•you will be injected with a radioactive glucose compound 45 minutes before the scan.

•For PET brain scans,only the head will be scanned. For PET heart scans, only the chest will be scanned. For PET tumor scans, the patient is usually scanned from the base of the brain to the pelvis.

• The scan will take 20-30 minutes.

• All patients will have a blood sugar check (finger stick) before their injection

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