positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT)
PET/CT combines two state-of-the-art technologies in one. PET highlights the abnormal metabolic function of cells. CT simultaneously depicts the anatomical location of the cells with precision and clarity.
Together, these images create a 3-D picture that enables physicians to make better decisions for earlier cancer treatment. PET/CT is also useful for following response to therapy and allows early detection of cancer recurrence, which can improve the chances of treatment success.
The PET/CT injection utilizes radioactive glucose. It is not iodine and there is no reaction with diabetic medications.
Preparing for PET/CT
- Wear warm, comfortable clothing.
- Patient should arrive 30 minutes early to register and have blood sugar checked.
- Patient’s entire visit to the hospital will last about two hours.
- Eat a low carbohydrate/high protein diet (e.g., eggs, meat, cheese, beans and vegetables) the evening before your procedure. Refrain from eating foods high in sugar.
- Patients should be well hydrated. Drink only water, sugar-free drinks or black coffee/tea prior to the morning of the test.
- Do not eat during the four hours prior to the exam.
- Take medications with water or saltine crackers if food is required.
- Do not exercise 24 hours prior to the exam.
- Diabetic patients should call the PET/CT team (804-281-8290) the day prior to the exam to discuss their medications.
- You should bring medications for pain, anxiety or claustrophobia, if you need them. If you take medications for anxiety or claustrophobia, please make sure you have someone with you to drive you home after your appointment.
- Materials for this procedure are ordered in advance and are time sensitive. If you need to cancel or reschedule, you must call 627-5660 at least 48 hours prior to your appointment time.
- Bring any recent CT scan results (CDs) if they were performed at a non-Bon Secours facility.
- Report to:
- St. Mary's Hospital: Emergency Department Registration
- Memorial Regional Medical Center: Outpatient Registration
- St. Francis Medical Center: Cancer Institute, Radiology/Oncology Department (left of the fireplace)