What is a PET/CT Scan?

PET stands for Positron Emission Tomography which is an imaging method that 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.

It uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose or treat a variety of diseases, including:

  • many types of cancers
  • heart disease
  • certain other abnormalities within the body.

Today, most PET scans are performed on instruments that are combined PET and CT scanners.

CT scans are special x-rays, with the help of a high-tech computer, that can produce pictures of the inside of the body.

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 detect disease processes earlier and more accurately than the two scans performed separately.

Additional information is available at RadiologyInfo.org.