Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT)
Positron Emission Tomography and Computerized Tomography (PET/CT) are both state-of-the-art imaging tools that allow physicians to pinpoint the location of a disease within the body before making treatment recommendations.
The highly precise PET scan illustrates the biology of disorders at the molecular level. During this procedure, the patient is given a small amount of radioactive tracer through an IV. As the tracer travels through your blood stream, it collects in organs and tissues and signals from the tracer are developed into 3D images for your health care provider to analyze and use to diagnose you.
Computerized Tomography (CT) images of the body are “cross-sectional” patterned much like slices of bread. By taking a series of images, a CT scan can create a multi-dimensional view of your body. CT scans are used for non-invasive diagnosis of a wide variety of medical conditions which can affect organs and structures of the body. Certain disease processes and structures of the body are seen better with the CT scanner than with routine X-rays. A patient’s physician may request a CT exam as a primary test or as a follow-up study after reviewing regular X-ray films.
The highly precise PET scan illustrates the biology of disorders at the molecular level - while a CT scan provides a detailed picture of the body’s internal framework providing the ability to detect and specifically locate abnormal growths and or changes in the body structure. The PET/CT scan combines the strengths of these two state-of-the-art imaging tools into a single scan.
64-Slice CT Scan
The 64-Slice CT at Orange Regional Medical Center is used by physicians to diagnose cancer and measure treatment progress. It provides incredibly detailed images of the anatomy. These images assist physicians in making more informed diagnostic decisions through non-invasive means.
The scan takes a few minutes and, for most scans, you are able to stay fully clothed. The scanner is very open. During the scan you lie comfortably on your back and hold your breath for just a few seconds.
With the ability to diagnose neurological disorders, make an earlier cancer diagnosis, determine the stage of cancer and plan the right course of precise treatment, these enhanced scans can improve the quality of life for each patient and ultimately increase the chance of recovery. PET/CT is commonly used to diagnose cancer as well as neurological conditions such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Brain tumors
This imaging technology provides physicians the proper tools to detect and care for specific diseases at a faster pace.
PET & CT imaging provides valuable information regarding a patient’s condition that assists in the appropriate planning and management of their treatment. By assisting in identifying the location and severity of a tumor’s growth, PET/CT is a powerful imaging technique that helps physicians more accurately diagnose and treat.
Scans at Orange Regional Medical Center are performed by a NY State licensed, registered technologist with specialized training. These technologists work under the supervision of Board-certified radiologists.
Frequently Asked Questions
View the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) before your scan to help prepare you for what to expect.
Why is PET/CT Important?
This latest imaging technology provides physicians the proper tools to detect and care for specific diseases at a faster pace. With the ability to diagnose neurological disorders, make an earlier cancer diagnosis, determine the stage of cancer and plan the right course of precise treatment, these enhanced scans can improve the quality of life for each patient and ultimately increase the chance of recovery.
How is PET/CT Used?
By assisting in identifying the location and severity of a tumor's growth, PET/CT is a powerful imaging technique that helps physicians more accurately diagnose and treat.
Things To Inform Imaging Staff Before Scan
When scheduling your PET/CT scan, inform the imaging staff if:
- You are taking any medication
- You are diabetic
- You are pregnant or nursing
How To Prepare for Your Scan
In preparation of your scan, please follow these instructions:
- No food or drink (except for water) for at least 6 hours prior to your appointment
- Avoid strenuous activity and exercise 24 hours prior to your appointment
- Arrive on time for the PET/CT procedure
What to Bring to Your Scan
Bring the following to your scan:
- Insurance information
- Written order from your physicians
- Films and reports from any previous diagnostic imaging procedure, including x-ray, CT, MRI, and any prior PET/CT scans
- Wear warm, comfortable, metal-free clothing (no underwire bras)Plan to spend two to three hours at the PET/CT imaging facility.
Exam times and procedures vary with each patient.
What to Expect Before Your Scan
When at the PET/CT center:
- Medical history and any prior PET/CT exams will be reviewed
- Blood sugar will be checked, and an imaging tracer called
- Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), a radioactive sugar, will be administered by way of injection
- A 90 minute resting period will be required before the scanning begins. This resting period is necessary for the FDG to travel and be distributed throughout the body.
What to Expect During Your Scan
At the time of PET/CT scanning:
- You will be positioned on the scan table
- The table will be moved into a large opening in the PET/CT scanner
- You will be asked to lie still while the PET/CT scanner acquires the images. The time of the scan varies, but will typically range from 30 – 45 minutes
What to Expect Upon Completion of Scan
Upon PET/CT scan completion:
- A technologist will process the computer images
- The reading physician will interpret these images
- A report will be generated and forwarded to your referring physician
Receiving Test Results
At Orange Regional Medical Center, we have the capability to electronically deliver your test results to your physician via our GE IntegradWeb Picture Archive Computer System (PACS) which uses advanced technology to aid in fast diagnosis. Once images are taken, they are immediately available for review by your doctor through our secure Web viewer on any computer with an Internet connection.