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PET / CT Fusion Imaging

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What is PET/CT Imaging?

Positron emission tomography, also called PET imaging or a PET scan, is a type of nuclear medicine imaging.

Nuclear medicine uses small amounts of radioactive material called radiotracers.

Doctors use nuclear medicine to diagnose, evaluate, and treat various diseases. These include cancer, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, or neurological disorders, and other conditions.

Nuclear medicine exams pinpoint molecular activity. This gives them the potential to find disease in its earliest stages. They can also show whether you are responding to treatment.

Nuclear medicine is noninvasive. Except for intravenous injections, it is usually painless. These tests use radioactive materials called radiopharmaceuticals or radiotracers to help diagnose and assess medical conditions.

A non-invasive test, PET/CT accurately images metabolic information in the human body, allowing physicians to diagnose problems, determine the extent of disease, prescribe treatment and track progress.

Prostate PET

There is a new imaging technique for prostate cancer that locates cancer lesions using a PET-sensitive drug that has been FDA approved.

How does it work?
The radioactive tracer drug is injected and attaches to PSMA proteins. The PET scan can then detect the concentrated PSMA tracer, pinpointing the tumors for more effective treatment.

Who should consider PSMA PET?
Men who are initially diagnosed with prostate cancer with risk for metastic disease.

Men who were previously treated (typically with radiation therapy or prostatectomy), but who have developed biochemical recurrence as shown by a rising PSA (prostate specific antigen).

Patient instructions

  • FDG – Do not eat or drink for eight hours prior to your test, with the exception of water or black coffee. Allow three hours for the exam.
  • NaF Bone Scan – Drink plenty of fluids. Expect the test to take two to three hours.
  • Axumin PET – Restage recurrent prostate cancer. Nothing to eat/drink four hours prior to test. Allow two hours for the exam.
  • PET myocardial viability – Do not eat four hours prior to the test, with the exception of water or black coffee. Allow four hours for the exam.