General Information About PET/CT
Utilizing a low dose CT examination in combination with a PET examination, images are reconstructed by computer analysis to gather more information. In modern scanners, at St. Paul Radiology, this reconstruction is accomplished with the aid of a CT X-ray screening performed on the patient during the same appointment, in the same machine.
CT scanning combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images or pictures and provides more detailed information on head injuries, stroke, brain tumors, and other brain diseases. These low dose images are then combined with the molecular imaging acquired by a PET screening. The combination provides physicians with very detailed information regarding tumors and the affects of patient treatments.
You deserve less. 33.8% less radiation dose.
Recently we introduced Intego, an innovative new PET/CT infusion system that reduces radiation dose by determining FDG amounts by patient weight. Our initial forecast was cautiously optimistic ─ 22.4% less radiation dose per patient. Now the results of our studies are in and Intego actually reduces radiation dose by up to 33.8%! It’s great news for patients ─ far less radiation dose with the same excellent care and image quality.
Imagine smarter, safer, simpler PET™:
- Automate Infusion
- Standardize Protocols
- Personalize Doses
- Reduce Exposure
Available only at St. Paul Radiology.
Download Procedure Preparation Information
Questions About Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
The day before your PET scan:
Drink at least 2-3 glasses of water during the day and take your medications as scheduled. If you are a diabetic, follow your normal diet. Do not perform any strenuous activity during the 24 hours before this procedure. This includes but is not limited to: running, physical fitness, heavy lifting and repetitive motion.
Question: How much time should I allow?
Answer: Plan to spend approximately 2 hours at the imaging center.
Question: How should I prepare for my PET scan?
Answer: Do not perform strenuous activity 24 hours prior to this procedure. This includes but is not limited to: running, physical fitness, heavy lifting and repetitive motion. If your occupation requires a high level of activity, you may need to take off the day prior to your scan.
Question: Can I eat or drink before my scan?
Answer: For a 24 hour period prior to your PET scan, please drink extra fluids. If you are diabetic, follow your normal diet and take your medications as scheduled. During the 4 hours prior to your scan, please drink 2 glasses of water. Do not eat or drink anything else during this period.
Question: How does the procedure work?
Answer: You will receive an injection of a radioisotope solution into a vein in your arm. You may also be asked to drink CT contrast. After the injection, you will rest in a comfortable position and wait approximately 60 minutes for the solution to be thoroughly distributed throughout your body. You will be taken to the restroom and asked to empty your bladder prior to the imaging procedure. During the exam you will lie on your back on the scanning table and every effort will be made to ensure that you are comfortable. The scan takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes to perform.
The Day of your PET scan:
During the 4 hours prior to your appointment:
- Do not eat anything ─ that means nothing in your mouth, not a mint, cough drop or even chewing gum.
- Do not drink any liquids of any kind except for two 8 oz. glasses of plain water ─ that means NOTHING added to the water. You may take solid pills, but only with the water.
- If you are a diabetic, do not inject any insulin during the 4 hours prior to your appointment. You may take your diabetes pills with water. Your blood sugar MUST be below 200 when you arrive for your appointment for our test to work.
- If you eat anything, drink anything besides plain water, or inject insulin during the 4 hours before you appointment we will not be able to do your PET scan.
Question: How will I feel after the scan?
Answer: After the procedure you may resume normal activities. There are no side effects from the radioisotope solution. You will be able to drive immediately.
For your comfort, please be sure to:
If you are insulin dependent, do NOT inject
any insulin during the 4 hours prior
to your procedure, but do bring your insulin
along with you to the exam.
Question: How will I receive my PET scan results?
Answer: A Board Certified Radiologist (a physician who
specializes in interpreting diagnostic images)
will study the images from your examination
and send a report to your physician.