148 East Avenue  •  Norwalk, CT 06851

203-838-4886

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To learn more about our PET/CT services, call:

(203) 838-4886

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PET/CT

PET/CT is a state-of-the-art imaging technique that combines positron emission tomography (PET) with computed tomography (CT) to image tissue and organ function.

Unlike other imaging techniques, PET/CT focus on depicting physiologic processes within the body, such as metabolism, instead of just showing anatomy.

This scan is designed to identify even the smallest areas of abnormal metabolic activity, which is associated with various disease processes. PET/CT is used in the diagnosis and management of cancer. This scan is used to evaluate the effectiveness of a patient’s treatment plan, and therefore make adjustments if necessary.

PET/CT scans are performed to:

  • Detect cancer
  • Determine whether a cancer has spread in the body
  • Assess the effectiveness of a treatment plan, such as cancer therapy
  • Determine if a cancer has returned after treatment

Once scheduled for a PET/CT, our office will call you and give you detailed instruction on how to prepare for your exam.

General guidelines are as follows:

  • You should arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled injection time.
  • Drink plenty of water to ensure proper hydration (plain water only, no sports drinks or flavored water).
  • Do not eat 6 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. This includes chewing gum, candy and mints.
  • No caffeine (coffee, cola, tea)
  • No physical exercise 24 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Regular prescribed medication can be taken with water.
  • No jewelry or watches can be worn. Please leave these valuables at home.
  • Please wear warm and loose fitting clothing that has no metal.
  • Female patients should wear a sports bra that has no metal.
  • If you are diabetic please notify our office prior to your scheduled appointment.

Please allow at least 2 hours for your visit.


FAQs

PET/CT

PET/CT is a state-of-the-art imaging technique that combines positron emission tomography (PET) with computed tomography (CT) to image tissue and organ function.

Unlike other imaging techniques, PET/CT focus on depicting physiologic processes within the body, such as metabolism, instead of just showing anatomy.

This scan is designed to identify even the smallest areas of abnormal metabolic activity, which is associated with various disease processes. PET/CT is used in the diagnosis and management of cancer. This scan is used to evaluate the effectiveness of a patient’s treatment plan, and therefore make adjustments if necessary.

PET/CT scans are performed to:

  • Detect cancer
  • Determine whether a cancer has spread in the body
  • Assess the effectiveness of a treatment plan, such as cancer therapy
  • Determine if a cancer has returned after treatment

Once scheduled for a PET/CT, our office will call you and give you detailed instruction on how to prepare for your exam.

General guidelines are as follows:

  • You should arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled injection time.
  • Drink plenty of water to ensure proper hydration (plain water only, no sports drinks or flavored water).
  • Do not eat 6 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. This includes chewing gum, candy and mints.
  • No caffeine (coffee, cola, tea)
  • No physical exercise 24 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Regular prescribed medication can be taken with water.
  • No jewelry or watches can be worn. Please leave these valuables at home.
  • Please wear warm and loose fitting clothing that has no metal.
  • Female patients should wear a sports bra that has no metal.
  • If you are diabetic please notify our office prior to your scheduled appointment.

Please allow at least 2 hours for your visit.


FAQs

What does the equipment look like and how does it work?

PET CT scanner is a large machine with a round, doughnut shaped hole in the middle, similar to a CT unit. Within this machine are multiple rings of detectors that record the emission of energy from the radiotracer in your body. You will lie on a narrow examination table that slides into and out of this tunnel. A radioactive material, called a radiotracer, is injected into the bloodstream.

This radioactive material accumulates in the organ or area of your body being examined, where it gives off a small amount of energy. Special cameras detect this energy, and with the help of a computer, create pictures offering details on both the structure and function of organs and tissues in your body.

Unlike other imaging techniques, PET/CT focus on depicting physiologic processes within the body, such as metabolism, instead of just showing anatomy.

Areas of greater intensity are called "hot spots," which indicate where larger amounts of the radiotracer have accumulated and where there is a higher level of metabolic activity.

Less intense areas are called "cold spots," indicate a smaller concentration of radiotracer and less metabolic activity.

In the case of cancer, when a ‘hot’ spot becomes ‘cold’ it generally means the treatment is working to successfully combat the disease.

Who interprets the results and how do I get them?

A specialty-trained board certified radiologist who has expert training in nuclear medicine will interpret the images and forward a detailed report to your referring physician. Your images will be integrated into your electronic medical record and will be available for viewing by your oncologists and surgeons. The images are frequently reviewed in a collaborative tumor board.

What are the benefits and risks?

The benefits of a combined PET/CT scanner include:

  • Greater detail with a higher level of accuracy
  • Greater convenience for the patient who undergoes two exams (CT & PET) at one sitting, rather than at two different times

Risks:

  • Because the doses of radiotracer administered are small, diagnostic nuclear medicine procedures result in relatively low radiation exposure to the patient, acceptable for diagnostic exams
  • Thus, the radiation risk is very low compared with the potential benefits.
  • Nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures have been used for more than five decades, and there are no known long-term adverse effects from such low-dose exposure.