Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

PET stands for Positron Emission Tomography which is an imaging method that produces powerful images of the human body’s biological functions. This differs from MRI and CT, which image anatomic structures. Therefore, PET and PET/CT scanners can detect disease processes earlier and more accurately. Primarily used in the diagnosis of cancer, PET and PET/CT reveal metastatic disease other imaging techniques simply cannot detect. PET and PET/CT has been shown to be a highly accurate and sensitive method to monitor treatment response in many types of cancers including characterization of solitary pulmonary nodule (SPN), lung cancer, lymphoma, melanoma, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, head and neck cancers, esophageal cancer, restaging thyroid cancer, and staging cervical cancer among other oncology indications.

Neurological indications for PET and PET/CT include pre-surgical evaluation for the purpose of localization of refractory seizure activity and the differential diagnosis of fronto-temporal dementia (FTD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Cardiology indications include myocardial viability as a primary or initial diagnostic study prior to revascularization.

In preparation for this procedure, the patient is asked not to eat for at least four hours prior to the PET or PET/CT exam. The patient should drink water to be well hydrated prior to the scan. A diabetic patient needs to regulate their blood glucose to a level less than 200 mg/l one hour before the study, the patient is administered an I.V. injection of a radioactive compound of glucose. The patient will be on the exam table for approximately thirty minutes to one hour. The PET or PET/CT examination is a very similar in experience on a CT scanner. The patient should expect to be at the imaging center for up to three hours.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is available at the following locations:

Calvert Medical Imaging Center7:00am to 6:00pm7:00am to 6:00pm7:00am to 6:00pm7:00am to 6:00pm7:00am to 5:00pm  
Howard County8:00am to 4:30pm8:00am to 4:30pm8:00am to 4:30pm8:00am to 4:30pm8:00am to 4:30pm8:00am to 12:00pm 
Waldorf 7:30am to 4:00pm 7:30am to 4:00pm7:30am to 4:00pm  

*Pet Scan is offered every other Saturday at Howard County, please call for Saturday availability.

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