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PET-CT

Services performed at: Lennon Rd-Flint and Novi

What is a PET-CT?

RMI is a credited facility for PET-CTA PET-CT scan is a procedure that actually uses two different imaging approaches to enable radiologists to look for signs of disease or other problems within the body and to evaluate how organs of the body are functioning: positron emission tomography (PET) and CT (computed tomography).

In the PET scan, the patient is injected with a small amount of radioactive material that circulates through the bloodstream, making tissues and organs of the body, as they function, visible to the imaging equipment.

The CT scan uses X-rays to image sections of the body so that the radiologist can see organ structures or indicators of disease.

Think of the PET scan as creating images that show organs as they are functioning over time, whereas the CT scan creates more of a snapshot of what a section of the body or an organ looks like at a specific instant. PET-CT scans are used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Cancer diagnosis or screening
  • Preoperative planning before surgery
  • Preparing for or guiding nuclear medicine therapy for cancer
  • Diagnosis or screening for heart disease
  • Diagnosing neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s

Your physician may order a PET-CT scan for different medical reasons, depending on your specific situation.

Instructions for PET Patients

Your doctor has recommended a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan. PET imaging uses a modified sugar that will allow RMI radiologists to see areas of the body that have altered metabolic function.

Preparations:

  • You will need to fast from 10:00 p.m. onward the night before your scan. You may not have any food, gum, or beverages other than water. In addition, your last meal before fasting should be a low carbohydrate meal.
  • You are encouraged to stay well hydrated by drinking lots of water before the scan.
  • You may take your medications with water.
  • If you are diabetic or have any problems regulating your sugar levels, please alert our scheduling staff, as you will need to follow special instructions to ensure a quality scan.
  • You may be given a small dose of Alprazolam (Xanax) orally as prescribed by our doctor, which you should take approximately 15-30 minutes before your appointment. If you take this, please arrange to have someone else drive you to and from your exam. This will help patients who are nervous or tense, or who have muscle spasms that could interfere with the scan. This drug also suppresses muscle uptake that can mimic pathology, which is especially important in patients with head and neck cancers, breast cancer, and lymphoma. If needed, your ordering doctor should prescribe this medication, as he or she will be most familiar with your allergies, history, and potential interactions with other medications.
  • You will need to bring any prior studies (MRIs, CTs, bone scans, or PET scans) that have been done outside of RMI facilities so that we may compare them with your current exam.
  • For patients scheduled for whole-body scans, feel free to bring any music CDs that you would like to listen to during your exam.
  • Do not exercise for at least 12 hours or longer before your exam, as this can result in intense abnormal muscle uptake of the labeled sugar and significantly hinder the evaluation of your scan.
  • The material used for your scan has a very short “shelf life.” It is ordered specifically for you at the time you are scheduled for your examination. If you are late for or miss your appointment, the material will be wasted and you will be charged for its cost.

Instructions for Diabetic PET Patients

The Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan uses a modified sugar to generate the images. If your body’s sugar level is too high, it could significantly impede the evaluation of the scan.

Preparations:

  • As each person may respond differently to a given prep, you should perform a “practice run” of the following protocol two days before the examination. Check your sugar levels in the morning and notify our staff if your sugar level is above 150, as we may need to modify the protocol and tailor it to your specific needs. If your glucose level is too high on the day you arrive for the test, we will cancel the test and reschedule you at a later date.
  • You will need to fast for 12 hours before the scan. You should have a high protein/low carbohydrate meal for dinner and then not eat after 7:00 p.m. This fast should include no food, no gum, and no beverages other than water. If you feel that your blood sugar may drop too low during a prolonged fast, please check it more frequently during the practice run, as we may need to adjust the length of your fast.
  • You should take your routine sugar medications (insulin or oral hypoglycemic) on the day before the exam. You will not take your sugar medications on the morning of the exam until after the test. Insulin can cause intense muscle uptake of the labeled sugar and interfere with the PET scan.
  • You may still take your other (non-sugar) medications with water the day of the test.
  • You are encouraged to stay well hydrated by drinking lots of water before the scan. Do not drink anything with sugar in it, such as soda or juice.
  • You may be given a small dose of Alprazolam (Xanax) orally as prescribed by your doctor, which you should take approximately 15-30 minutes before your appointment. If you take this, please arrange to have someone else drive you to and from your exam. This will help patients who are nervous or tense, or who have muscle spasms that could interfere with the scan. This drug also suppresses muscle uptake that can mimic pathology, which is especially important in patients with head and neck cancers, breast cancer, and lymphoma. If needed, your ordering doctor should prescribe this medication, as he or she will be the most familiar with your allergies, history, and potential interactions with other medications.
  • You will need to bring any prior studies (MRIs, CTs, bone scans, or PET scans) that have been done outside of RMI facilities so that we may compare them with your current exam.
  • For patients scheduled for whole body scans, feel free to bring any music CDs that you would like to listen to during your exam.
  • Do not exercise for at least 12 hours or longer before your exam, as this can result in intense abnormal muscle uptake of the labeled sugar and significantly hinder the evaluation of your scan.
  • The material used for your scan has a very short “shelf life.” It is ordered specifically for you at the time you are scheduled for your examination. If you are late for, or miss your appointment, the material will be wasted and you will be charged for its cost.

Medical Radiation Safety

The radiation doses from a PET-CT scan is considered to be in the “low-level radiation” category. However, since PET-CT scans require more radiation than other types of imaging exams, RMI is committed to managing radiation dose for patient safety, under the principles of the Image Gently program for pediatric patients and the Image Wisely program for adults {link to Image Wisely program page}.

Resources

RadiologyInfo.org: Positron Emission Tomography – Computed Tomography (PET/CT)

 Image Gently logo 11.11.hires imagewise  prego icon

Services performed at: Lennon Rd-Flint and Novi

What is a PET-CT?

RMI is a credited facility for PET-CTA PET-CT scan is a procedure that actually uses two different imaging approaches to enable radiologists to look for signs of disease or other problems within the body and to evaluate how organs of the body are functioning: positron emission tomography (PET) and CT (computed tomography).

In the PET scan, the patient is injected with a small amount of radioactive material that circulates through the bloodstream, making tissues and organs of the body, as they function, visible to the imaging equipment.

The CT scan uses X-rays to image sections of the body so that the radiologist can see organ structures or indicators of disease.

Think of the PET scan as creating images that show organs as they are functioning over time, whereas the CT scan creates more of a snapshot of what a section of the body or an organ looks like at a specific instant. PET-CT scans are used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Cancer diagnosis or screening
  • Preoperative planning before surgery
  • Preparing for or guiding nuclear medicine therapy for cancer
  • Diagnosis or screening for heart disease
  • Diagnosing neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s

Your physician may order a PET-CT scan for different medical reasons, depending on your specific situation.

Instructions for PET Patients

Your doctor has recommended a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan. PET imaging uses a modified sugar that will allow RMI radiologists to see areas of the body that have altered metabolic function.

Preparations:

  • You will need to fast from 10:00 p.m. onward the night before your scan. You may not have any food, gum, or beverages other than water. In addition, your last meal before fasting should be a low carbohydrate meal.
  • You are encouraged to stay well hydrated by drinking lots of water before the scan.
  • You may take your medications with water.
  • If you are diabetic or have any problems regulating your sugar levels, please alert our scheduling staff, as you will need to follow special instructions to ensure a quality scan.
  • You may be given a small dose of Alprazolam (Xanax) orally as prescribed by our doctor, which you should take approximately 15-30 minutes before your appointment. If you take this, please arrange to have someone else drive you to and from your exam. This will help patients who are nervous or tense, or who have muscle spasms that could interfere with the scan. This drug also suppresses muscle uptake that can mimic pathology, which is especially important in patients with head and neck cancers, breast cancer, and lymphoma. If needed, your ordering doctor should prescribe this medication, as he or she will be most familiar with your allergies, history, and potential interactions with other medications.
  • You will need to bring any prior studies (MRIs, CTs, bone scans, or PET scans) that have been done outside of RMI facilities so that we may compare them with your current exam.
  • For patients scheduled for whole-body scans, feel free to bring any music CDs that you would like to listen to during your exam.
  • Do not exercise for at least 12 hours or longer before your exam, as this can result in intense abnormal muscle uptake of the labeled sugar and significantly hinder the evaluation of your scan.
  • The material used for your scan has a very short “shelf life.” It is ordered specifically for you at the time you are scheduled for your examination. If you are late for or miss your appointment, the material will be wasted and you will be charged for its cost.

Instructions for Diabetic PET Patients

The Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan uses a modified sugar to generate the images. If your body’s sugar level is too high, it could significantly impede the evaluation of the scan.

Preparations:

  • As each person may respond differently to a given prep, you should perform a “practice run” of the following protocol two days before the examination. Check your sugar levels in the morning and notify our staff if your sugar level is above 150, as we may need to modify the protocol and tailor it to your specific needs. If your glucose level is too high on the day you arrive for the test, we will cancel the test and reschedule you at a later date.
  • You will need to fast for 12 hours before the scan. You should have a high protein/low carbohydrate meal for dinner and then not eat after 7:00 p.m. This fast should include no food, no gum, and no beverages other than water. If you feel that your blood sugar may drop too low during a prolonged fast, please check it more frequently during the practice run, as we may need to adjust the length of your fast.
  • You should take your routine sugar medications (insulin or oral hypoglycemic) on the day before the exam. You will not take your sugar medications on the morning of the exam until after the test. Insulin can cause intense muscle uptake of the labeled sugar and interfere with the PET scan.
  • You may still take your other (non-sugar) medications with water the day of the test.
  • You are encouraged to stay well hydrated by drinking lots of water before the scan. Do not drink anything with sugar in it, such as soda or juice.
  • You may be given a small dose of Alprazolam (Xanax) orally as prescribed by your doctor, which you should take approximately 15-30 minutes before your appointment. If you take this, please arrange to have someone else drive you to and from your exam. This will help patients who are nervous or tense, or who have muscle spasms that could interfere with the scan. This drug also suppresses muscle uptake that can mimic pathology, which is especially important in patients with head and neck cancers, breast cancer, and lymphoma. If needed, your ordering doctor should prescribe this medication, as he or she will be the most familiar with your allergies, history, and potential interactions with other medications.
  • You will need to bring any prior studies (MRIs, CTs, bone scans, or PET scans) that have been done outside of RMI facilities so that we may compare them with your current exam.
  • For patients scheduled for whole body scans, feel free to bring any music CDs that you would like to listen to during your exam.
  • Do not exercise for at least 12 hours or longer before your exam, as this can result in intense abnormal muscle uptake of the labeled sugar and significantly hinder the evaluation of your scan.
  • The material used for your scan has a very short “shelf life.” It is ordered specifically for you at the time you are scheduled for your examination. If you are late for, or miss your appointment, the material will be wasted and you will be charged for its cost.

Medical Radiation Safety

The radiation doses from a PET-CT scan is considered to be in the “low-level radiation” category. However, since PET-CT scans require more radiation than other types of imaging exams, RMI is committed to managing radiation dose for patient safety, under the principles of the Image Gently program for pediatric patients and the Image Wisely program for adults {link to Image Wisely program page}.

Resources

RadiologyInfo.org: Positron Emission Tomography – Computed Tomography (PET/CT)

 Image Gently logo 11.11.hires imagewise  prego icon
 

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