Having a PET/CT Scan
What is a PET/CT Scan?
A Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan shows how well the body’s tissues are using nutrients, such as glucose. A Computed Tomography (CT) scan shows the body’s bones, soft tissues and blood vessels. This scan can help find diseases and where they are located in your body. A PET/CT scan is done by a machine that can take both PET and CT scan pictures.
How long does the PET/CT test take?
The test will take about two to three hours.
Where can I have the PET/CT Scan done?
The test can be done at Miami Valley Hospital (MVH).
When should I arrive for the PET/CT Scan?
Arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled exam to give our staff time to review your medical information.
What are the risks of having a PET/CT Scan?
Allergic reactions are very rare and are usually mild. Be sure to inform your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your physician may tell you to not have the scan at this time. Learn more about the benefits versus the risks of having a Nuclear Medicine PET/CT Scan .
How do I prepare for the PET/CT Scan?
- If you are unable to come to your appointment or need to reschedule your test, call (937) 208-2080 or (937) 208-8085 right away. The radioactive sugar molecule fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) used in a PET/CT scan is very expensive and can only be used for two hours after the time the test is scheduled.
- Before your test, tell the technologist if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you are uncomfortable in small, enclosed spaces (claustrophobic) you may choose to ask your doctor for a mild sedative to take prior to the exam.
- Do not eat or drink anything except water four hours before your exam. You may take your medicines with a sip of water. Do not take insulin four hours prior to your exam.
- Patients with diabetes - Your blood sugar should be less than 200 mg/dl before the injection of FDG. Your test may be delayed a number of days if your blood sugars are higher than 200 mg/dl.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing that does not have metal zippers or snaps. Take off anything that might block the scan pictures, such as glasses, earrings, necklaces or hairpins.
What happens during a PET/CT Scan?
For the PET/CT scan, you will be injected with a small amount of a tracer. This tracer is the radioactive sugar molecule FDG. You will sit in a dim, quiet room for about an hour to give the tracer time to flow into your body. You will then lie down on a table for the scan. As the table moves into the center of the scanner, you will hear clicking noises.
You must lie still so the pictures are clear. The scan takes 30 to 45 minutes. This test should not cause you any pain but you may not be comfortable lying still for so long. Our staff will do everything they can to help you relax.
What can I expect after the PET/CT Scan?
The FDG breaks down quickly and leaves your body in about 18 hours. Your doctor should receive the results of your scan in two to three business days.
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