Today, most PET scans are performed on instruments that are combined PET and CT scanners. The combined PET/CT scans provide images that pinpoint the location of abnormal metabolic activity within the body. The combined scans have been shown to provide more accurate diagnoses than the two scans performed separately.
Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging.
It uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose and determine the severity of various types of diseases, including cancers, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, neurological disorders and other abnormalities within the body. Because nuclear medicine procedures are able to pinpoint molecular activity within the body, they offer the potential to identify disease in its earliest stages as well as a patient’s immediate response to therapeutic interventions. A PET scan measures important body functions, such as blood flow, oxygen use, and sugar (glucose) metabolism, to help doctors evaluate how well organs and tissues are functioning.
CT imaging uses special x-ray equipment, and in some cases a contrast material, to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. These images can then be interpreted by a radiologist on a computer monitor as printed images. CT imaging provides excellent anatomic information.
Benefits of a PET Scan
* PET/CT is a powerful source of data to help make the right decisions. * PET/CT is safe.
* PET/CT reduces number of invasive procedures.
* PET/CT can avoid unnecessary surgery.
* PET/CT can tell whether a tumor is benign or cancerous. * PET/CT can show all the organ systems of the body in a single exam, showing, for example, whether cancer has spread. * PET/CT detects disease often before it shows up on other tests. * PET/CT is an early predictor of patients’ response to their therapy. * PET/CT assists in planning for radiation therapy.
* Nuclear medicine as a branch of...