PET Scan: Positron Emission Topography Test
Scheduling and Directions
DeKalb Medical offers PET/CT scan in Atlanta, a technology that combines PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and CT (Computer Tomography) scanning capabilities to further improve the information gained from the positron emission topography test. This combined positron emission topography test allows the radiologist to determine not only what cancer is present, but also the exact location of the cancer.
A PET/CT scan often can detect cancer that other imaging tests are unable to detect by showing both the chemical function and structure of an organ or tissue. It uses a small of radioactive material to reveal how your tissues and organs are functioning. It is extremely sensitive for detecting early stages of diseases such as cancer because small amounts of tumor may be found, even when they can’t be detected by other imaging procedures.
A PET/CT scan in Atlanta at DeKalb Medical also can help monitor the effectiveness of treatment for your particular diagnosis or disease. In addition to cancer, a PET/CT scan also is useful in detecting neurological programs and heart disease, among other conditions.
The procedure begins with an injection of a very small amount of radioactive-labeled glucose. The amount of radiation received is no more than with a nuclear medicine procedure. There are no known side effects caused by the material. It takes approximately one hour for the injected material to circulate throughout the body. The scan lasts about 20-30 minutes and involves lying on a table which passes through the scanner.
When you have a PET/CT scan in Atlanta at DeKalb Medical, a radiologist with special training in nuclear medicine will interpret the images from your PET/CT scan. The results of the PET/CT scan then are sent to your referring physician, who will discuss the results with you.
Preparing for Your PET/CT Procedure
You should not eat or drink anything other than water for six to eight hours before your PET/CT scan. Do not take any prescribed medications unless your physician instructs you otherwise. If you are diabetic, you will receive special instructions on how to prepare for your PET/CT scan.
You should not exercise for 24 hours before your scan. You will be given barium sulfate to drink two hours before your scan time. Dress comfortably because you will be asked to lie down on the imaging table for pictures. Also, remove your jewelry, dentures and any other objects that might include metal. The DeKalb Medical scheduling office will contact you with more detailed instructions about your scan.
Before you have your PET/CT scan, you will receive an injection of a very small amount of radioactive chemical, which is absorbed in most cancerous cells and has no known side effects. It takes about one hour for the material to circulate through your body.
Your PET/CT scan will begin with an injection of a very small amount of radioactive-labeled glucose. The amount of radiation received is no more than with a nuclear medicine procedure. There are no known side effects caused by the material. It takes approximately 90 minutes for the injected material to circulate throughout the body. The PET/CT scan lasts about 20 to 30 minutes and involves lying on a table which passes through the scanner.
After Your PET/CT Scan
You can resume your normal diet and daily activities after your PET/CT scan. Drink plenty of fluids to help remove the radioactive substance from your body. The radiologist who performed your procedure will advise your physician as to the findings of the test. Your physician will follow up with you about the results of your PET/CT scan.
Scheduling and Directions
Your physician will contact DeKalb Medical to schedule your PET/CT scan for you.
Your PET/CT scan will be performed at the Imaging Center at DeKalb Medical at North Decatur,
- From North Decatur Road, enter the hospital campus via Wash Lively Road.
- The Diagnostic Imaging Center is on the left.
- Parking is on the left in front of the center and is free for all Imaging Center patients.