Positron Emission Tomography
Magruder's Positron Emission Tomography (PET) system offers early and highly accurate detection of cancer.
PET is an imaging procedure that provides physicians with information about the body's chemistry, cell function and exact location of disease. This technology allows physicians to diagnose and determine the extent of various cancers, neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy, and damages to cardiac muscle after a heart attack.
The specific images obtained with PET are not available with other technologies such as CT scans, MRI or X-ray. The difference lies in the ability of PET to study body function rather than giving radiological images of anatomy or body structure.
For oncology patients, PET determines the presence and extent of cancerous tissue which will help in deciding appropriate treatments.
What to Expect with Your PET Scan
- The entire procedure takes about 2 hours to complete.
- A member of your healthcare team injects a radiopharmaceutical into a vein.
- After your injection, you will be asked to wait in our injection suite for 1 hour while the radiopharmaceutical distributes. During this time you will be asked to relax.
- During the exam you will lie on a narrow, padded table that moves slowly into the part of the scanner that looks like a doughnut hole. During the scan you must be very still so that the images aren't blurred. The PET/CT scan takes between 30- 45 minutes to complete.
- The test is painless. If you're afraid of enclosed spaces, you may feel some anxiety while in the scanner. Talk to your primary care provider before the procedure to see if they think ordering something to help you relax would be appropriate.
- After the test you can carry on with your day as usual, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Drinking lots of fluids soon after the exam will help remove any of the radiopharmaceutical that may still be in your system.