Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan

What is Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan?

PET is an advanced medical imaging examination that provides detailed information on the function of an organ or system in the body. PET scans are commonly used to evaluate and diagnose cancers, neurological disorders of the brain and cardiovascular diseases.

During a PET scan, a radioactive tracer is injected and images of the patient’s body are recorded with a PET scanner. A camera detects the emissions resulting from the injected radioactive tracer, and a computer then creates multi-dimensional images of the examined body part. The injected radiotracers usually accumulate in diseased tissues more than healthier tissues. Most PET scanners are combined with CT scans to allow further structural information provided by CT images alongside the functional information from PET scan.

Why is Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan required?

A PET scan is mainly used to detect and monitor conditions including cancers, neurological disorders of the brain, and cardiovascular diseases. It can detect cancers before the condition become detectable with  other imaging techniques, such as CT and MRI scans. PET scan also enables the doctor to determine whether there is a cancer and where it is spreading in the body.

A PET scan shows which part of the brain is responsible for the epilepsy, thereby helps  planning the surgery for epileptic seizures. It is also used to assess Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease because the resulting images can pinpoint areas of the brain that fall short of normal functioning. Early detection of these neurological disorders facilitates effective treatment.

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