PET/CT stands for the combination of Positron Emission Tomography/ Computerized Tomography into a single, non-invasive test that shows the chemical functioning and behavior of organs and tissues.
PET is a nuclear imaging test that uses special cameras and radioactive drugs to produce pictures of the function and metabolism of the cells in the body, while CT is an x-ray that generates a detailed view of the anatomy or structure of organs and tissues in the body.
Merging these technologies, a PET-CT scan provides comprehensive anatomic and metabolic information- it details what a structure is in your body, and what it is doing biochemically.
PET/CT is a key imaging modality for the detection and tracking of cancer and cancerous cells in your body, and can allow your physician to evaluate whether a cancer treatment plan is working effectively or not. It is also critical for monitoring heart function and coronary artery function as well as evaluating brain abnormalities such as seizures, tumors, memory disorders and other central nervous system disorders.
Some preparation may be involved for a PET/CT scan- you will be given specific instructions on your exam during scheduling.