Pet – Ct – bit is an imaging method that combines positron emission tomography (PET) and computerized tomography (CT) techniques in the same machine, providing information in more details in which it used to diagnose and treat cancer in addition that provides many benefits for both doctor and patient around the world.
Images that obtained by using the Pet- Ct are transmitted directly to the computer digitally and as a result of these images, radiotherapy is planned.
In addition, Pet-Ct “Positron Emission Tomography” is a method of molecular imaging in which metabolic changes in the body resulting from diseases are imaged using radioactive compounds (radioactive drugs).
Early diagnosis of cancer, heart disease, and certain neurological diseases, thus identifying and planning appropriate treatment, is an important contribution to the assessment of a patient’s response to treatment.
Functional and structural changes can be evaluated together in a positron emission tomography.
How does PET-CT work?
Pet -Ct is a combination of positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) scanning that is obtained at one time and with one device.
PET scan provides important information about the body’s metabolic activity and physiology, while PET scan allows for the identification of anatomical changes in the body.
Cancer cells have higher metabolic rates than normal cells, and appear as denser areas on PET scans.
Many neurological and heart diseases, especially cancer, alter the body’s biological processes.
PET scan can usually detect these changes in the early stages before any complaints or symptoms appear.
How PET- CT imaging is performed?
Although the radioactive material usually varies depending on the type of cancer, the radiopharmaceuticals most commonly used in cancer imaging today are the 18F-FDG and Gallium-68 called peptide (Ga-68 DOTA-TATE or Ga-68 PSMA).
PET scanners detect and record signals emitted by the radioactive material, which are then converted into real images via the computer.
- The radioactive material used is injected intravenously.
- After the injection, the patient remains in special rooms in a state of complete rest for 60 minutes.
- At the end of this rest period the scanning process begins.
- The scanning area is the area between the base of the skull and the upper part of the thigh.
- Scanning time varies between 15-30 minutes depending on the length of the patient
What is he purpose of PET- CT scan?
PET- CT is effective in determining the presence of the type of cancer attracted to radioactive compounds used in imaging and its spread in the body and in planning treatment and assessing response. Imaging the whole body using a single image is an important feature.
The most important contribution to cancer treatment is to guide the choice of the most appropriate treatment for the patient and to avoid unnecessary treatments.
The reason is that cancer cells have a higher metabolic rate than normal cells, they appear as bright spots on PET scan.
PET scans can be useful in:
- Cancer detection
- Find out if the cancer has spread
- Validate the success of cancer treatment
- Detection of cancer recurrence
Pet- Ct tests should be interpreted with caution, as non-cancer conditions resemble cancer and many types of cancer do not appear on PET scans. Types of cancer likely to appear on PET scans include:
- Brain tumor
- Breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Head and neck cancer
- Lung cancer
- Skin cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Thyroid cancer
Pet-Ct “Positron Emission Tomography” in Neurological Diseases
The power of PET scan technology to detect metabolic changes plays an important role in locating epilepsy spots in the brain and in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia.
PET- CT in In cardiovascular diseases
By demonstrating both perfusion and metabolic activity in heart muscle tissue, it can be used to detect areas of decreased blood flow caused by coronary artery obstruction and to identify damage to the heart muscle. This information is important for patients who have had a previous myocardial infarction and are scheduled to receive treatment.
Why is PET scan performed?
- Early Diagnosis
It provides an assessment of the metabolic activity of certain tissues suspected to be cancerous in the human body and characterizes tumors as benign or malignant.
It prevents unnecessary biopsy from being performed in tissues that have been identified as benign on imaging, and contributes to diagnosis by directing the biopsy in tumors with a high probability of malignancy.
- Metastasizing of cancer
It is extremely effective in determining the spread of the disease throughout the body in many types of cancer. Confirmation of the presence or absence of metastatic disease can also choose the most appropriate treatment for the patient.
- Cancer Recurrence Detection
It is the most effective imaging technique for early detection of cancer recurrence in patients who have undergone cancer treatment, especially in distinguishing changes in the body following radiation therapy and surgical treatments due to cancer recurrence.
It also plays an important role in the detection of recurrence and determining the appropriate treatment for patients for whom tumor markers have been found at high levels in follow-up, the source of recurrence cannot be determined by conventional imaging techniques.
- Planning for Radiotherapy
Areas of viable cancer cells that will be exposed to radiation in radiotherapy can be more precisely determined by imaging using PET-CT and with increased treatment effectiveness, unnecessary radiation is prevented on healthy tissue and reduces side effects.
- Evaluation of treatment effectiveness
PET Scan is an imaging method that allows evaluating the effectiveness of treatment after cancer treatment by imaging methods such as CT or MRI. Its superiority in this area is due to the detection of metabolic changes resulting from cancer cell death before the structural contraction of cancer tissue begins. By comparing images taken before, during and after treatment, changes in cancerous tissue can be distinguished by treatment.
What are the potential benefits and risks of a positron emission tomography ( PET- CT Scan)
Benefits of PET Scan
- Nuclear medicine examinations often provide unique information that cannot be obtained using other imaging methods, including information about both the function and the anatomical structure of the body.
- Nuclear medicine examinations provide the most useful information necessary to diagnose many diseases and determine appropriate treatment, if any.
- Nuclear medicine is less expensive than surgical exploration and can provide more accurate information.
- Nuclear medicine provides the possibility of detecting disease at an early stage, often before symptoms appear or abnormalities are detected by other diagnostic tests.
- PET scan can detect whether tumors are benign or likely malignant, eliminating the need for a surgical biopsy or determining the best site for a biopsy.
PET Scan can also provide additional information used in radiotherapy planning.
Risk of PET-CT
On a PET-CT scan, a radioactive drug (traceability) will be given to your body. The amount of radiation will be low and the risk of negative effects is also low. However, there are exceptions:
- In rare cases, it may cause a significant allergic reaction.
- If you are pregnant, the fetus may be exposed to radiation.
- If you are breastfeeding, your baby may be exposed to radiation.
After you screen the PET-CT Scan
Radioactive material used is short-lived populations. Therefore, it does not pose a significant radiological safety risk to your family and those around you. However, avoid unnecessary long-term contact, especially with young children and pregnant women, at risk of radiation exposure for approximately 12 hours.
- It is recommended to drink plenty of fluids and urinate frequently after the filming.
- This will help you to remove residual radioactivity from your body.
In addition to having a significant advantage over other existing diagnostic tools, PET-CT also eliminates the need for diagnostic tests that contain excessive radiation. Images obtained using this new technology are critical in the diagnosis of cancer as well as an important part of the oncology board decision making process.
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