PET Imaging

PET/CT scan is a highly advanced medical imaging tool. Positron emission tomography (PET) shows your body’s metabolic activity, while computed tomography (CT) shows your anatomy. When combined, the PET and CT scans show what’s happening inside your body, including both normal and abnormal metabolic activity, as well as the anatomic details of the area where the activity is taking place.

A PET/CT scan is most often used to detect a variety of common cancers or to determine the extent of spreading of a cancer or its response to therapy. PET/CT scans are also often used to assess neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s or certain cardiac conditions. This information can help your doctor better understand your condition and discuss with you the most effective next steps.

What happens during a PET Scan?

  • A PET scan is a non-invasive and painless procedure. Depending on the type of scan, it can be performed in about 90 minutes. Afterward, you may resume your normal activities, such as driving.
  • To start the process of your scan, you will be given a fruit-flavored drink called a "contrast solution." The contrast solution helps the physician interpreting the image to clearly see your stomach and intestines and distinguish them from other structures in your abdomen.
  • A small amount of a radioactive sugar compound is then injected into yoour bloodstream. The radioactive sugar circulates in your body while you relax for approximately one hour. You then lie on a bed that slowly passes through the scanner.
  • It's very important that you do not move or adjust your position.
  • When the imaging procedure is complete, the scanner will send the information to a computer that both displays the PET and a CT scan side by side and fuses the images together.

What should I do to prepare?

  • Wear comfortable clothes, no metallic jewelry or accessories
  • Leave valuables at home
  • Review patient exam preparation instructions.
  • Take any prescribed medications on the day of the exam unless instructed not to do so by your physician
  • If you are unable to lie flat for 30 minutes or are claustrophobic, please call our office at 812-858-0080.
  • If you have diabetes or other problems with your blood sugar, please call our office at 812-858-0080 to discuss special instructions. It is important that you stay hydrated.
  • Let the technologist know if you're pregnant or you think you might be
  • Avoid strenuous exercise or physical activity for 24 hours before your appointment.
  • Do not eat anything after midnight on the night before your PET/CT scan, unless you are instructed otherwise.
  • Follow the special diet 24 hours before testing, as noted below.
  • Arrive on time for the exam.

What can I eat or drink?

The quality of your scan may be improved if you eat a low-carbohydrate diet for at least 24 hours before your appointment. You may enjoy a variety of proteins and vegetables, such as: chicken or fish without breading, pork (including bacon or ham), b„eef, tofu, eggs, cheese, most salad dressings (check label for those under 5 grams of carbohydrates/sugar), non-starchy vegetables (lettuce, peppers, breen beans, asparagus, tomoatoes etc.).
Please avoid sugars and carbohydrates, such as: fruit and fruit juice, jelly, breads, tortillas, rice, pasta, yogurt, milk, chereal, chips, popcorn, pizza crust, fried foods, starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn, onions, carrots, beans etc.), soft drinks, coffee, alcoholic beverages. 

How will I feel after the exam?

You should feel fine! There are no documented side effects from the injected tracer.