PET/CT Positron Emission Tomography, commonly referred to as PET scan, is a specialized nuclear medicine procedure that produces pictures of chemical and physiological changes in the body. PET scans can detect, for instance, cancers and cancer spread before they're big enough to be seen by other imaging techniques but PET alone is not as anatomically specific. With the addition of a CT scanner, which provides specific anatomic localization, PET/CT shows both metabolic and anatomic data throughout the body on one exam.
PET/CT is most commonly utilized to scan the whole body but can be performed specifically to scan just the brain or the heart, for example. Because PET/CT scans can detect changes in body tissues, they are useful for:
Determining benign versus malignant
Identifying lung nodules to see if any one of them is cancer
Looking for how extensively cancer has spread in the body. Can also see how well treatments are affecting cancer
Assessing causes for memory disorders such as Alzheimer's disease
Determining the location of seizures and if patients with uncontrolled seizures might benefit from surgery
Assessing brain metabolism in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome
Learning how blood is flowing in the heart to assess for coronary artery disease and to check for heart muscle damage
Finding out if a damaged part of the heart would benefit from surgery
PET/CT scans are available at Edward Hospital , 120 Spalding Drive, MOB 2, Naperville.