PET Scan

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan is a unique imaging test that helps to view how the organs and tissues inside the body are functioning.

Working of a PET Scan

A radioactive medicine is produced in a cyclotron and tagged with a natural chemical that could be glucose, water or ammonia. The tagged natural chemical is known as a radiotracer. The radiotracer is then inserted into the human body.

The radiotracer will go to areas inside the body that use the natural chemical. For example, FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose – a radioactive drug) is tagged with glucose to make a radiotracer. This glucose goes into those parts of the body that use glucose for energy. Cancer cells however use glucose differently from normal tissue. Hence FDG can show up cancers.

Need of a PET Scan

PET scans are generally used alongside CT scans. This helps in getting more information on the health condition of an individual. They become valuable while assessing how effective the current treatment is.

Pet is a Valuable Technique Used in Oncology, Cardiology and Neurology

Oncology

PET scan permits a physician to accurately image many organs in the body with a single scan and detect for malignancy. PET has demonstrated usefulness in cost-effective whole-body metastatic surveys, avoiding biopsies.

PET scans can show up cancer, reveal its stage of progress and also helps us check whether the cancer has spread. It helps the doctors to decide on the most appropriate cancer treatment, and also on the effectiveness of ongoing chemotherapy.

Cardiology

PET scan enables physicians to screen for coronary artery disease, to assess flow rates and flow reserve and to distinguish viable from nonviable myocardium for bypass and transplant.

PET scan can reveal the size, shape, position, and some function of the heart. It is used when other tests, such as echo cardiogram (ECG) and cardiac stress tests do not provide enough information.

Several PET scans may be taken over time to determine how well you are responding to the treatment of heart disease.

Neurology

PET scan provides information for assessing various neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. Additionally, it localizes epileptic foci for qualifying and identifying the site requiring surgical intervention.