Positron emission tomography—computed tomography (PET/CT) is an imaging device that allows physicians to locate and determine the magnitude of cancer and other diseases residing in a patient’s body. Like X-Rays and Nuclear Medicine, the device relies on radiation to deliver images, but unlike the other systems, PET/CT can deliver three-dimensional views of organs or other internal tissues.
Many use the separate terms PET scan or CT scan. This is technically correct because each term represents a different system. However, they are most often used together, so a common way to see them in print is PET/CT scan.
The PET/CT is a two-part device: The scanner and the computer.
The two systems work together to deliver images, with the computed tomography (CT) scanner playing a key role in compiling the final imagery. Because the two systems are separate, it is possible to have a PET-CT scan or a PET-MRI.
The first PET/CT went operational in 1998 at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Within a few years hundreds of these systems were in use worldwide. Since then, the device has become an important part of understanding the size and scope of cancerous growth in patients among other procedures.
What Diseases are Diagnosed using a PET/CT Scan?
The positron emission tomography scan lets physicians put a special dye into a patient. The dye contains radioactive tracers which allow the system to read organs and other tissue which may be diseased. The dye may be inhaled, injected, or even swallowed.
The choice of how the radiotracers enter the body is determined by what part of the body is to be studied. The goal is to get the tracers into the location needed for the scanning device to work.
The PET scan can measure oxygen use in the blood, blood flow, how well the body is processing and using sugars among many other bodily processes. This makes the PET Scan a very flexible tool for diagnosing many common diseases. Some of the diseases which may be diagnosed include:
If pregnant or suspect your are pregnant, let your physician and technicians know.
Kymera Independent Physicians’ Advanced PET/CT Scan
The Kymera PET/CT imaging machine is the only stationary American College of Radiology (ACR) certified unit in Southeast New Mexico. Our facility and industry-leading physicians and radiology/imaging technicians are highly qualified, supportive, and will make the testing process as comfortable as possible.
We take every possible step to ensure that your imaging procedure is safe and you are comfortable. If you have any questions for your radiology technician, do not hesitate to ask.