What is PET-CT?

Positron emission tomography-computed tomography, combines a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner and an X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanner in a single gantry; that holds radiation detectors and / or a radiation source. This technology is used in medical facilities like hospitals or clinic that helps in diagnosis or treat a disease.

PET-CT, a nuclear medicine technology marries functional imaging from PET and structural imaging from CT into one image – that identifies tumors with millimetric precision and provides a very accurate representation of the physiology of the disease. PET-CT technology has revolutionized the field of medical diagnosis and is rapidly replacing the conventional SPECT, CT and MRI scans for cancer.

The PET-CT technology took a commercial birth in 2001 and thereafter has seen a positive acceptance across the globe. With <200 installations in India, the acceptance of PET-CT technology in India is just booming up. While there is a good number on installations, India is yet to see a further growth in the availability of the technology and at an affordable cost.

How PET-CT is useful?

PET-CT not only aids in detecting diseases but also helps to measure the treatment efficacies. For example, in case of a cancer, it helps to determine the metabolic activities of cancerous cells like whether it has spread to new areas or it has reduced. It shows the response to treatment techniques so that the same can be applied with a clear guidance and thought.

PET-CT scan helps in revealing crucial information about the structure along with the function of cells and tissues in the body. This can be achieved in a single imaging session. The images obtained are of high accuracy that helps to decide the further course of medical action.

PET-CT Imaging Procedure

  • After completing all essential registration and consent formalities, you would be examined by our doctor. A detailed history pertaining to your illness and information relevant to scan would be noted and all your previous medical records and reports would be also reviewed.
  • You would be then directed to a room where a small dosage of 18 F – FDG / Sodium Fluoride will be injected in your vein.
  • After injection, you would be asked to quietly relax and rest in a separate room at our Centre for about an hour before you are taken up for the scan.
  • During this resting period, unless recommended by our staff, no attendants or relatives would be permitted to stay with you in this separate waiting room.
  • You are advised to stay calm, restrict physical movements and avoid talking to others while present in the room.
  • In case you feel any vomiting sensation or giddiness, inform the staff immediately by pressing the call bell.
  • You may be given oral contrast to drink. You will have to finish drinking it in around 30 minutes. This helps to get a better image quality. However, don’t force yourself to drink it in case you are feeling nauseatic. You would be required to drink plenty of water after the injection and till you are in the waiting room.
  • You will be asked to void (pass urine) before starting the scanning procedure. Take care to ensure that you don’t spill urine on any of your body parts.
  • You would be asked to lie down flat on your back on the bed of the PET-CT scanner and are expected to remain still during the entire scanning period of 15-20 minutes.
  • Your body would pass through a doughnut like structure for obtaining the scan. Please let us know if you are claustrophobic or anxious.
  • You would be informed about the beginning and end of the scanning procedure by our staff.
  • After the completion of the scanning, you will be asked to sit in another room for some time. The Nueclear staff in the mean time will evaluate your PET-CT images and if needed may repeat your whole body scan.
  • Your PET-CT scan would be finally evaluated by our experienced Nuclear Medicine Physician.
  • Our staff at the reception will inform you about the date and time of collection of PET-CT scan report.
  • It is advisable to avoid prolonged contact with infants, small children and pregnant women for at least 6 hrs after the scan.

Important Note:

  • The 18 F – FDG / Sodium Fluoride used for your PET-CT scan is procured from a Medical Cyclotron Centre that is at a distant place from our facility.
  • The production and synthesis of 18 F – FDG / Sodium Fluoride is a specialized procedure and involves complex physical, chemical and mechanical operations.
  • There may be unforeseen circumstances and unexpected failures at the Medical Cyclotron Centre resulting in either no production or less production of 18 F – FDG / Sodium Fluoride
  • Also, some unprecedented delays in transportation of 18 F – FDG / Sodium Fluoride by road or by air, too may affect its timely supply.
  • The radioisotope 118F in the 18 F – FDG / Sodium Fluoride has a very short half-life of 110 minutes. During short-supply or no supply of this drug, it is likely that few or all scheduled appointments may have to be cancelled or altered.
  • If such an incident occurs, we will inform you immediately and your appointment will be rescheduled to some other date as per your convenience.
  • Nueclear healthcare limited would not be held liable for any harm or loss arising out of such cancellations.
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