PET / CT Scan

The PET/CT scan combines positron emission tomography (PET) with computed tomography (CT) in one machine. From one single PET/CT scan, your doctor will have information about the structure and function of cells and tissues in your body. Since this diagnostic test is at the cellular level, often it can identify changes that signify early stages of disease. The most common uses of PET/CT scans are to detect and determine the spread of cancer, assess the effectiveness of cancer therapy, and study brain abnormalities.

Depending on the areas your doctor is imaging, the average PET/CT scan takes less than 45 minutes. The scanning process is painless, and for most people the buzzing and clicking of the machine as it takes images of the specified body area, is what most people comment on and remember.

Some patients may be asked for a urine sample prior to the exam for pregnancy testing. As with most imaging tests, pregnant women and their doctors should discuss the risks of having the test while they are pregnant.

To prepare for your PET/CT scan:
Fast 4 hours prior to exam time.
Small amounts of water are okay to drink.
Do not engage in strenuous activity or exercise prior to your exam.
Do not take diabetic medication prior to exam.  This is because this is a radioactive sugar dose.

PET/CT Scan With Axumin

A PET/CT scan with Axumin can localize and detect recurrent prostate cancer. Axumin is an FDA-approved diagnostic imaging agent, also known as a “tracer” and administered via an IV prior to the PET/CT exam, which may help your physician determine if and where your prostate cancer has returned. Axumin is used with a PET/CT scan. For more information, about Axumin, go to https://www.axumin.com/sites/default/files/2018-03/patient_brochure.pdf.

To prepare for your PET/CT with Axumin scan:
Fast 4 hours prior to exam time.
Small amounts of water are okay to drink.
All medications are okay to take prior to exam.
Do not engage in strenuous activity or exercise prior to your exam.

Please do not bring any of the following with you to your exam:

  • Jewelry, watches, credit cards, and hearing aids, all of which can be damaged.
  • Pins, hairpins, anything with metal zippers, and similar metallic items, which can distort images.
  • Removable dental work.
  • Pens, pocketknives, and eyeglasses.
  • In most cases, a PET/CT exam is safe for patients with metal implants, except for a few types.  When you schedule you exam, let us know if you have any metal implants.