fusion of two sophisticated scanning technologies, positron emission tomography
and computed tomography, PET/CT shows both metabolic function and anatomical
detail in a single exam. This integration provides more accurate information
for diagnosing the presence and extent of disease, prescribing treatment and
tracking therapy progress.
PET/CT is one of the most powerful diagnostic tools
available today for detecting diseases before anatomical changes or medical symptoms
occur. Its imaging capabilities permit accurate diagnosis, staging and monitoring
for a variety of cancers. In addition, PET/CT provides important diagnostic information
on heart disease and neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
PET/CT Exam Guidelines
Note: A radiopharmaceutical
FDG has to be prepared specifically for your exam procedure the day of the study.
If you cannot keep your appointment, please notify us at least 24 hours in advance,
otherwise you may be charged the $350.00 fee for the FDG dose.
What to Expect
During the Exam
- Prior to your scheduled appointment, WIS will call you
to discuss specific instructions, review your health and insurance information
and answer any questions.
- For your convenience, print out and complete the appropriate Patient
including Patient Registration and Patient History.
Bring them with you to your appointment.
- If you’ve had an allergic
reaction to a contrast agent in any prior imaging exam, please notify our
staff before your appointment.
- DO NOT do any strenuous activities, heavy
lifting or exercise 24 hours prior to your exam. Excessive muscular activity
may interfere with the interpretation of your study.
- Continue to take prescribed
medications (with water) on the day of the exam, unless instructed otherwise
by your physician.
- Do not eat or drink anything except water for at least 12 hours
prior to the exam as test results are affected by your blood sugar. Also,
do not chew gum. Please follow a protein diet with no carbohydrates for 24
hours prior to beginning your PET/CT exam preparation. (Click here for dietary
- Be well hydrated; drink plenty of water
the day before and the day of your exam.
- If you are a diabetic, please notify our staff to obtain special
- If you take insulin to control your diabetes, you will be scheduled
for an early morning appointment since you must withhold taking your insulin
prior to the exam.
- Please bring all of your prior examination films or studies
(CT, MRI, ultrasound, PET, etc.) with you on the day of your exam.
warm, comfortable clothing free of metal zippers, snaps, etc.
- Leave your valuables
at home. All jewelry, hair pins and clips must be removed prior to the exam.
- Patients weighing over 400 pounds, or females who are pregnant or breast
feeding cannot be scanned.
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your exam.
What to Expect After the Exam
- PET/CT exams are completely painless with no side effects.
you arrive, our PET/CT Technologist will discuss
the procedure with you and answer any questions.
- Plan on spending a total of 2-3 hours at WIS. The actual scan
takes approximately 20-40 minutes. The scan may be longer if your
doctor has ordered one or more contrast CT scans to accompany your
- Your blood sugar will be tested and if the levels are acceptable,
the procedure will begin.
- A small IV will be started in your arm for an injection of a
small amount of radioactive glucose or sugar. (Technically called
a radiopharmaceutical FDG—a fluoride radioisotope bound up
to a high molecular weight glucose.)
- You will rest in a special quiet area for 45 minutes to 1 hour
as the FDG circulates throughout the body.
- After emptying your bladder, you will lie down on a comfortable
- The table will move slowly through the donut-shaped PET/CT scanner
as it acquires the information needed to generate diagnostic images.
- You will
be asked to lie still and breathe normally during the scan because
movement can interfere with results.
- Your PET/CT will be reviewed to make certain that all images
are complete and no delay imaging is required.
- After your scan, you will get up from the scanner bed
and check out with the receptionist.
- You may leave
as soon as the exam is completed.
- If you were given Valium before or during
the scan, you will need someone to drive you home.
- Your normal activity and
eating habits may be resumed.
- Drinking plenty of water and other fluids after
the exam will help flush the FDG from your body.
- Your PET/CT scan will be interpreted
by a WIS board certified radiologist with specialized training
in PET/CT imaging.
- Your referring physician will receive a report and pictures
detailing the findings of your exam within 48 hours. You should
contact your doctor to discuss the results.
For more information on PET/CT, check out the Frequently
(FAQs) page on this modality.