After you arrive, you will have a brief discussion with the imaging technologist and your weight and blood sugar level will be checked. An intravenous (IV) line will be placed in your arm and the technologist will inject a small amount of FDG*, a radioactive material containing glucose (sugar).
This tracer material circulates through your body and will be metabolized, or “used,” by your cells and organs.
Some cells and many diseases use FDG more than others, and PET measures these differences. For this reason, after the injection of FDG you will be taken to a quiet room where you will remain relaxed for one hour while the FDG circulates throughout your body.
For the scanning portion, you will lie on a cushioned, moveable table and be positioned comfortably with bolsters. The table will move slowly through the machine during the scan. For the best quality images, you need to be as still as possible during the exam. The PET/CT can take 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the information your healthcare provider requested.
The imaging technologist will be outside of the room and is immediately available at all times. You will be in full view of the technologist by means of a window and a video camera. You will communicate with the technologist during the exam via a microphone.
Following Your Exam:
You can leave immediately after your scan. Your activity will not be restricted. You may drive, resume your normal diet, exercise and take all prescribed medications.
As an extra precaution, due to the FDG that was injected, avoid getting close to children or pregnant women for 2 hours after your exam. Be sure to drink lots of fluids to flush the remaining tracer out of your system.
Your images will be interpreted by a board-certified radiologist (medical doctor) specializing in body imaging. The findings will be sent to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will contact you to discuss the results.