Positron Emission Tomography (PET) has become one of the most established nuclear imaging modality that has become useful mostly for oncology. PET was invented in the year 1970 and was then used in neurology and cardiology as a valuable tool for research. It was after a decade later that investigators identified that PET could be used for oncology. PET is generally very expensive and requires highly trained personnel for operation for PET imaging. However, PET is currently utilized for its services all around the world.
Resources such as Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) show anatomic detail. However, the imaging produced by PET offers a significant advantage over the anatomic images provided by CT or MRI scans for oncologic imaging.
So what is a PET/CT scan?
This is one of the most advanced imaging techniques which is a combination of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computed Tomography (CT) into one machine. The PET/CT scanning device can reveal information regarding both, the structure as well as the function of cells and tissues in the body within a single image session.
During the PET/CT scan, a patient is initially injected with a glucose solution containing a slight amount of radioactive material. This substance is then taken in by the relevant organs or tissues to be examined. Once the individual is placed in the large scanner, the scanner would then be able to identify the damages or cancerous cells where the glucose was absorbed and the rate the tumor is making use of the glucose. The procedure performed during this process is incredibly painless and could vary from patient to patient according to the body part being examined.
The use of a PET/CT scan offers far more detailed imaging of cancerous tissues than both tests done separately. The pictures would be captured in a single scan and provides the highest level of accuracy. Medical facilities should make it a point to make use of efficient equipment such as a GE PET CT scanner which would offer the best results.
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