PET/CT Scan

The positron emission tomography (PET) is a powerful diagnostic examination which combines functional information (PET) with structural information (CT) in one examination. The test usually uses a radioactive form of sugar, known as a tracer which is administered intravenously and taken up by the body. The PET scan may detect abnormalities that are not evident on other modalities such as MRI  and allows doctors to visualise the function of tissues and organs and may pinpoint the increased activity of cancer cells.  A low dose CT scan provides the relevant anatomical information which demonstrates the position of cancer cells.  

Perth Radiological Clinic offers the following PET CT scans -   

Fluorodeoxyglucose or FDG  
FDG is the most commonly used tracer in PET CT scans. It is a simple sugar, which gives off energy in the body, and can detect metabolically active malignant lesions. 

F-18 Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA)
PSMA is a tracer administered to detect the possible presence of prostate cancer cells.   

Amyloid
Amyloid radiotracers allow the non-invasive detection of amyloid plaques, a core neuropathologic feature in a person’s brain that can define Alzheimer disease.   

Does any of the following apply to you? If so please contact us as soon as possible. 

  • You suspect or know that you may be pregnant 
  • You have ever experienced a severe reaction to a previous injection of contrast media 
  • You suffer from asthma or have kidney disease 
  • You are a diabetic 

Do you require an interpreter? 

Is the patient non-english speaking? If so, we can arrange for an interpreter to be present during the appointment. Please let us know as soon as possible so we can make the relevant arrangements. 

  • You will need to fast for at least six hours prior to your appointment  
  • You will be asked to drink one litre of water in the two hours before your appointment. You may empty your bladder as normal before your appointment time  
  • Please wear loose, warm, comfortable clothing to your appointment. Please avoid garments with zippers or buttons  
  • Please continue to take all medications as normal  
  • You must bring a blanket to your appointment. Image quality is improved by staying warm before the scan
  • On cold days please make sure you keep warm the day before and the day of the procedure. It can help with the effectiveness of the procedure. 
  • When you arrive for your appointment, we will ask you to provide a finger prick sample for a glucose check  
  • You will also be required to complete relevant paperwork  
  • Our staff will go over your preparation and this is a good time to discuss any questions or concerns you have with them   
  • An intravenous cannula (small needle) will be placed in your arm and the tracer will be injected   
  • You will then be required to rest in a quiet, dimly lit room for at least one hour before your scan   
  • During this time, it is important that you relax, keep still and not speak.  
  • During the scan you will lie flat on the procedural bed. The bed will then move in and out of the donut-shaped machine  
  • It is important to lie completely still during the procedure  
  • No parts of the scanner will touch you, however it will make a humming or whirring noise. This is completely normal  
  • The low dose CT scan will be performed first followed by the PET study and the images will be matched up and reported together. If you require a separate diagnostic CT scan this will be performed after the PET/CT study  
  • If a diagnostic CT is requested by your doctor, a small amount of CT contrast will be injected via the same cannula in your arm, and you may experience a very temporary warm flush or metallic taste in your mouth. This is completely normal.  
  • After the study you may be asked to stay in the department a short time whilst the images are checked  
  • You can eat and drink normally during this time  
  • The glucose tracer and CT contrast will pass out of your body via your urine over the next eight or so hours so please drink plenty of fluids to assist this  
  • You will be in our clinic for around 3 hours; however, you will only be in the scanner for 20 to 30 minutes  
  • The images will be sent to our specialist radiologists/nuclear medicine physicians to review and report  
  • Please advise our reception team of your follow -up appointment date with your referring doctor.  
  • A PET/CT scan is a safe routine diagnostic test that uses small amounts of radiation  
  • The radioactive glucose is safe and has no known side effects  
  • If you need an injection of CT contrast you will be asked some questions about any previous reactions to iodine prior to the scan being performed   
  • If you think you might be pregnant you must tell your referring doctor and our staff prior to your examination.  

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