A PET/CT scan is made up of two scan types or ‘imaging’:
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) uses very small amounts of a radioactive sugar (18F-FDG) which, once injected into one of your veins, can be seen on the scan and show how parts of your body are functioning.
CT (Computed Tomography) uses X-rays to produce images of the different density or thickness of organs in your body.
By combining these two images, a PET/CT scan can show how well certain parts of your body are working, as well as showing what they look like. You get a very detailed and accurate internal picture which a referring specialist can use to help diagnose and, if necessary, decide the most effective treatment.
PET/CT scans are particularly helpful for investigating confirmed cases of cancer, to see how far the cancer has spread and how well it is responding to treatment. PET/CT scans are sometimes used to help plan operations, such as brain surgery for epilepsy. They can also help diagnose some conditions that affect the normal workings of the brain, such as dementia.
You will be asked to complete a “Friends and Family” questionnaire following your scan. We want to provide the best care possible to all our patients so would very much like to hear from you about your experience – things that we did well, and areas where we could improve. If you have any concerns about your experience you can also speak directly with a member of the team.
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