Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computerized Tomography (CT) are both standard imaging tools that allow physicians to pinpoint the location of cancer within the body before making treatment recommendations. Since PET and CT technology each have some medical limitations, we perform hybrid exams during a single session, eliminating the need for separate scans.
The highly sensitive PET scan detects the metabolic signal of actively growing cancer cells in the body and the CT scan provides a detailed picture of the internal anatomy that reveals the location, size, and shape of abnormal cancerous growths. For example, PET scanning provides metabolic detail (showing cells that may be cancerous), while CT scanning provides anatomical detail (indicating precisely where those cells are located in your body).
When the resulting scans are combined, they form a single image showing metabolic activity in relation to your body’s anatomy. This allows the physician to pinpoint the location of cancer within the body before making treatment recommendations. Doctors use PET/CT scans to make better diagnoses and to determine the best course of treatment for a range of diseases and disorders in several practice areas, including oncology, cardiology, and neurology.
PET/CT exams are minimally-invasive and in many cases can reduce the need for further tests or more invasive procedures. The examination itself usually takes between 30 minutes to one hour excluding the prep time which has a duration of up to one hour prior to the exam. The PET/CT system provides exceptional image quality and accuracy of diagnostic information.