Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans are a form of nuclear medicine that reveal how various tissues and organs within the body are functioning. PET scans map microscopic metabolic changes in cells by using a radioactive drug (tracer) that is injected and absorbed into the body. During a single exam, a PET/CT scan can combine PET and CT results into one image. This additional information supports accurate diagnosis.
Benefits of PET
Because PET scans show changes at the cellular level, they often detect the earliest onset of disease before it can be identified by other imaging tests. PET scans can also determine how well a patient is responding to a particular treatment plan. This helps guide physicians in monitoring disease and deciding or modifying treatment plans. A PET scan can help reveal or evaluate many conditions, such as cancer, damaged heart tissue, or brain disorders.
Nuclear medicine is an imaging practice that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose and determine the severity of a variety of diseases, including cancers, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, neurological disorders, and other abnormalities inside the body. In addition to PET scans, we offer additional nuclear medicine imaging studies through our partnership with Nuclear Medicine Associates.
Learn how to prepare for your PET scan, or call 530.243.1249 for more information.