PET- CT Centre
Positron Emission Tomography
What is PET-CT?
It is a molecular imaging method in which the metabolic changes caused by diseases in the body are monitored using radioactive compounds (radioactive pharmaceutical preparations). The early diagnosis of cancer, heart disease and some neurological diseases, and the identification and planning of appropriate treatment, make an important contribution to assessing the treatment response. Functional and structural changes in computerized tomography can be evaluated together.
How does PET-CT work?
It is a combination of Positron emission tomography scan (PET) and computerized tomography scan obtained using one device at a time.
PET provides important information about body’s metabolic activity and physiology, while CT scans allow identification of anatomical changes in the body.
Cancer cells have higher metabolic rates than normal cells and appear as more dense regions in PET.
Many neurological diseases, especially cancer and heart disease, changes in the body’s biological processes. PET can usually detect these changes at an early stage before any symptoms. Radioactive pharmaceutical preparations are injected into the patient before the checkup begins.
Although radioactive material generally differs depending on the type of cancer, today the most common radioactive pharmaceutical preparations for cancerous imaging today is Fluorine-18 – fluorodeoxy.
PET-CTs detect and record the signals emitted from radioactive materials, and then these signals are converted into real images via computer, the checkup takes about 20 minutes for most patients.
What is the PET-CT used in the oncology?
The PET-CT is effective in determining whether there is a type of cancer with convergence of radioactive compounds used in imagining and its spread in the body, and in planning the therapy and evaluation of response. Full-body imagining using a single image scan is an important feature.
Effective cancers include lung cancer, head and neck cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancers, neuro-endocrine cancer, lymphoma, melanoma, gynecological cancer, sarcoma, bladder, and prostate cancer. It is used in many other kinds of cancers, in different groups and periods of disease. The most important contribution to cancer therapy is to guide the selection of the most appropriate therapy to the patient and prevent unnecessary therapy.
1- Early Diagnosis.
The PET-CT allows the body to evaluate the metabolic activity of some cancerous tissues in the human body and describes whether benign or malignant, while unnecessary biopsy procedures are prevented in tissues defined as benign in imagining, they contribute to the diagnosis by directing the biopsy in tumors which may be malignant.
2- Cancer staging
It is very effective in determining the spread of the disease throughout the body in many types of cancer. Checking for the presence or absence of metastatic disease allows selecting the most appropriate therapy for the patient.
3- Detection of recurrence
It is the most effective imagining technique in detecting recurrence for patients who underwent cancer therapy in the early period, in order to distinguish between the changes that occur in the body and the recurrence of cancer, especially after radiotherapy and surgical therapy. It plays an important role in determining recurrence and appropriate therapy for patients whose tumor signs are elevated during follow-up but cannot be recognized by conventional imagining techniques.
4- Planning therapy
Radiotherapy can be used to identify areas of live cancer cells that can be irradiated by PET-CT, and to reduce side effects by preventing unnecessary radiation on healthy tissues.
5- Evaluating the effectiveness of the therapy
The PET-CT is an imagining method that allows evaluation the efficacy of the therapy after cancer therapy before the imagining techniques such as CT or MRI. The predominance in this field arises from the detection of metabolic changes caused by the death of cancerous cells before the structural contraction of the cancerous tissues. By comparing the images obtained before, during and after therapy, a distinction can be made between therapy-related changes in the cancer tissue.
PET-CT for neurological diseases
The ability of the PET-CT technology plays in detecting metabolic changes plays an important role in localizing epileptic foci in the brain, and diagnosing Alzheimer and other types of dementia.
PET-CT for cardiovascular diseases
It can be used to detect areas of low blood flow caused by coronary blockages and to determine the damage to the heart muscle by showing both perfusion and metabolic activity in the tissues of the heart muscle. This information is important for patients who have suffered from previous myocardial infarction, and their treatment is scheduled.
PET is on your way to your appointment
The radioactive medicine used for PET-CT checkups is specially prepared for each patient, and because it is of short life, it disappears quickly over time so it is important that you arrive on time for the checkup.
Avoid exercising or physical activity the day before the scan.
Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water unless there are fluid restrictions by the doctor.
If you are using insulin and oral anti-diabetes medicines, inform your doctor when making an appointment.
You must fast for at least 6 hours before imaging.
There is no harm of drinking water during this period.
The hunger period will be adjusted according to your appointment.
Exposure to cold when you come to for imaging may affect the quality of your image.
PET-CT is not used for pregnant women. If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, or if you think you are pregnant, please contact the PET-CT department before your appointment. Remember to bring your reports and CDs of your previous imaging, and pathology results.
When you come for PET-CT, our nurse will take you to the injection room and ask you to read and sign the illuminated consent form so that you can enter the imagining room then you will be asked to answer a few questions to know your medical history.
The blood glucose level is measured before the radioactive material is injected. The blood glucose levels should range from 70 mg / dL to 200 mg / dL. If your blood glucose level is out of the recommended levels or if you did not follow specific instructions before the test (special diet, medicines, fasting time, etc.), you may need to reschedule your appointment.
After the injection, you need to wait about 60 minutes in the restroom designated for distributing radioactive material in your body.
Radioactive medicines used for PET-CT are short-term so it does not pose a major danger to your family and those around you in terms of radiation safety. However, avoid unnecessary long-term contact with young children and pregnant women in particular who are at risk of radiation exposure for about 12 hours.
Since the radioactive material is excreted in the urine, wash the toilet several times on the day of imaging and wash your hands well, you will consume a lot of fluids and urinating frequently after imaging. This application helps you to remove radioactivity from your body.
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