PET/CT scan combines the imaging power of positron emission tomography, with that of computed tomography. A PET scan measures important body functions such as blood flow, oxygen use, and sugar metabolism, to help doctors evaluate how well organs and tissues are functioning, while a CT scan provides excellent anatomic information by interpreting a series of images into one cohesive 3-D image of the body.
Using a PET/CT scanner, the information from these two types of imaging can be imposed onto one image, resulting in more detailed images, and more accurate diagnoses.
What PET/CT scans are used for:
- detecting cancer
- determining whether a cancer has spread in the body
- assessing the effectiveness of a treatment plan, such as cancer therapy
- determining if a cancer has returned after treatment
- determining blood flow to the heart muscle
- determining the effects of a heart attack, or myocardial infarction, on areas of the heart
- identifying areas of the heart muscle that would benefit from a procedure such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery (in combination with a myocardial perfusion scan)
- evaluating brain abnormalities such as tumors, memory disorders, and seizures and other central nervous system disorders
- mapping normal human brain and heart function