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PET-CT - FAQ

  • What is Positron Emission Tomography - Computed Tomography (PET-CT)?
  • Positron Emission Tomography - Computed Tomography (PET-CT) is a sophisticated hybrid imaging technique that allows the visualization of human anatomy and metabolic activity by using x-ray and a small amount of short-lived positron emitting radiopharmaceuticals. It is a non-invasive technology that can routinely examine the whole body in one single examination. PET-CT is playing a major role in oncology. In particularly, it helps doctors to detect and grade tumors, to follow-up treatment response and detect recurrent cancer.

  • Why is PET-CT useful?
  • With the use of the isotope labeled with glucose, it can measure bio-chemical changes that occur before visible signs of disease are present on other imaging modalities. It is especially sensitive for detecting growing tumor in which the metabolic rate is much faster than other normal tissue. Besides, it often identifies tumor at very early stage, that allows treatment to be planned for better prognosis.

  • Do I need any preparation?
  • Patients need to keep fasting before the examination. Any drink that contains sugar/glucose is also forbidden. However, drinking plenty of water is encouraged.

  • What should I do during the examination?
  • After the administration of radiopharmaceutical intravenously, patient will rest comfortably in a room for an hour. He/She should relax completely and avoid talking or excessive body movement. Afterwards, the patient will lie on an imaging table for about 15 minutes. During the examination, patient must keep still and relaxed.

  • Any side effect after the examination?
  • Because the radioisotope used in a PET-CT scan is short-lived, the amount of radiation exposure to the patient is minimal. The procedure is perfectly safe and all patients will not experience any side effect.