PET Scan

A Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan is an imaging technique in which radioactive sugar in injected through an IV. Areas of the body that have increased metabolism, such as infections, abscesses, or tumors, will respond to the sugar.

A PET scan is commonly used for evaluation, staging, re-staging or monitoring of response of therapy on patients with known or suspected malignant disease.

How do I prepare for the exam?

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the exam.

Since this is a sugar sensitive exam, all types of glucose, dextrose, or medications affecting blood sugar must not be taken after midnight the night before the exam.

Do not take insulin or hyperglycemic medication the night before or day of the exam.

Diabetic patients need to have a blood sugar of 200 or below.

Patients will be required to drink contrast. Please notify us if you are unable to drink large amounts of liquids.

What can I expect during the exam?

This exam is conducted by a specially registered technologist in molecular imaging.

You will drink two large glasses of oral contrast and then be given an injection of a small amount of radioactive sugar.

You will be asked to sit quietly, doing no strenuous activity, for about an hour.

You will then be asked to drink one more glass of contrast and lie on the exam table. Please be aware that the contrast is a natural laxative.

The exam will take between 1 and 2.5 hours.

What can I expect after the exam?

Unless your physician tells you otherwise, you may resume your normal activities after your molecular imaging scan. If any special instructions are necessary, you will be informed by a technologist, nurse or physician before you leave the molecular imaging department.

Your scan will be read by a radiologist specially trained in molecular imaging. A written report will be sent to your physician, who will contact you with results.