PET/CT Scan 101

At Cheyenne Radiology, we believe that providing exceptional healthcare includes educating patients about the variety of healthcare choices they face, especially in medical imaging.

That’s why we’ve spent a lot of time this year talking about imaging modalities—like MRIs, mammograms, and ultrasounds—to help you feel in control of your health. We’d like to continue that education by talking about PET/CT scans and why we have technology that allows us to do combined scans.

To get started, what is a PET scan?

PET is a nuclear medicine imaging technique that produces images of functional processes in tissues and organs. It is often used to map brain and heart functioning, along with cancer diagnosis and treatment.

What is a CT scan?

CT scans are X-rays that are processed by computers to produce visual cross-sections of specific areas of the body. CT has become an important tool in medical imaging to supplement “regular” X-rays and ultrasonography. CT is also used for preventive medicine or screening for disease.

 So why combine PET and CT?

We perform PET/CT scans on instruments that are combined PET and CT scanners. The combined PET/CT scans provide images that pinpoint the location of abnormal metabolic activity within the body. The combined scans have been shown to provide more accurate diagnoses than when the two scans are performed separately.

When is a PET/CT scan helpful?

PET/CT scans can be helpful when your doctor is trying to identify body changes or measure blood flow, oxygen use, and glucose metabolism to determine how well parts of your body are working. These scans can be used to detect cancer, heart problems and brain disorders, among many other health conditions.

If you and your doctor decide a PET/CT scan is the right choice for you and your health, please ask for a referral to Cheyenne Radiology and we’ll make sure you have all the facts to feel confident.