The PET scan is a unique type of imaging test that helps doctors see how the organs and tissues inside your body are actually functioning. The test involves injecting a very small dose of a radioactive chemical, called a radiotracer, into the vein of your arm. The tracer travels through the body and is absorbed by the organs and tissues being studied.
Next, you will be asked to lie down on a flat examination table that is moved into the center of the PET scanner, a doughnut-like shaped machine. This machine detects and records the energy given off by the tracer substance and, with the aid of the a computer, this energy is converted into three-dimensional pictures.
A PET scan detects changes in cellular function - how cells are utilizing nutrients like sugar and oxygen. Areas with a high degree of metabolic activity have a greater chance of being cancerous. A CT scan allows doctors to see internal structures within the human body.
Combining PET and CT into one exam gives doctors crucial pieces of information to help them prescribe the best course of treatment for their patients. A tumor evident with CT can be confirmed as either malignant or benign with PET, and physicians can then use these fused images to target more effective therapies.
Because PET/CT allows study of body function, it can help physicians detect alterations in biochemical processes that suggest disease before changes in anatomy are apparent on a CT Scan (in some cases up to 6 months earlier).
Because the radioactivity is very short-lived, your radiation exposure is extremely low. The substance amount is so small, that it does not affect the normal processes of the body.
The radioactive substance may expose the fetus of patients who are pregnant or in the infants of women who are breast-feeding to the radiation. The risk to the fetus or infant should be considered related to the information gain from the potential result of the PET/CT examination.
No food or drink (EXCEPT WATER) should be consumed for 6 hours prior to the test. You should drink plenty of water. You should also not have any candy, gum or sweetened drinks 6 hours prior to your exam. Diabetics will be given a special protocol. It is important to follow these instructions to ensure the most accurate diagnostic results.
You will be asked to change into a gown or scrubs for most procedures. you may be asked to remove hairpins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids and any removable dental work that could obscure the images. Expect to be at Forest City Diagnostic Imaging for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
At FCDI, we have a radiologist on site during the daytime hours, so the test will be interpreted promptly. The results will be sent to your referring doctor usually within hours of your exam. You may obtain your results from your doctor. We are able to send your images via our secure portals to your doctor. CD copy of your images will be given only upon request. There is additional reformatting done to PET/CT images so a CD may not be available by the time you leave. We can mail it to you upon request.
To schedule a PET/CT Scan with Forest City Diagnostic Imaging, please call (815) 398-1300.
The GE Discovery LS is designed to help physicians diagnose and localize cancer faster than ever before. Discovery LS imaging technology combines today’s most sophisticated positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) systems, producing images that provide anatomic and metabolic information that result from a single exam in a single system.
The GE Discovery LS can help physicians, in a single exam, answer critical questions for patients:
The GE Discovery LS provides inherently fused clinical images, which translates into more complete information for medical professionals. Specifically, this technology is helping meet the needs and demands of the medical community including radiologists, nuclear medicine professionals, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists and other referring physicians in the following ways: