|PET Scan of the Brain|
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Reasons for Test
- Allergic reactions to the chemicals used
- Kidney damage from the contrast chemical used
- Long-term effects from radiation exposure
What to Expect
Prior to Test
- Not eat anything after a certain time
- Avoid beverages with high sugar and calorie content
- Drink plenty of water
Description of Test
- If you are anxious about being in enclosed spaces, you may be given a light sedative to help you relax.
- An IV will be placed in your arm.
- A small quantity of the tracer substance (used for the PET portion of the scan) will be injected through the IV. In some cases, the tracer substance will be inhaled or swallowed rather than injected.
- You will wait about 60 minutes after this injection.
- You will be positioned on a table.
- Another injection of contrast material (used for the CT portion of the scan) will be given.
- The table will move slowly through a doughnut-shaped ring. You will need to lie still for about 35 minutes while the PET/CT images are being taken.
- You should continue to drink extra water throughout the day after your scan. This helps to flush the tracer materials from your body.
- If you have received any sedation, you will need to have someone drive you home.
- You can expect to be able to resume your normal activities the same day as your test.
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of allergic reaction, including flushing, hives, and itching
- Swollen or itchy eyes
- Difficulty breathing or a feeling of tightness in your throat
- Less urine than normal
Clinical Center—National Institutes of Health http://www.cc.nih.gov
Radiology Info—Radiological Society of North America http://www.radiologyinfo.org
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
PET/CT scan. Hartford Hospital website. Available at: http://www.harthosp.org/imaging/PETCTScan/default.aspx. Accessed February 13, 2015.
Positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT). Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=pet. Updated March 28, 2013. Accessed February 13, 2015.
Schidt GP, Kramer H, et al. Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging and positron-emission tomography-computed tomography in oncology. Topics in Magn Res Imaging. 2007;18:193-202.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2015 -
- Update Date: 03/18/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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