PET Scan with CT Scan

These tests use a radioactive substance to create images of your organs. The images show their size and shape and how well they are functioning.

These tests use a radioactive substance to create images of your organs. The images show their size and shape and how well they are functioning.

A positron emission tomography (PET) with Computed Tomography (CT) scan uses two types of imaging to create detailed images of structures in your body. One type (PET) uses a radioactive substance that is absorbed into tissues and shows the degree that those organs are using energy. The second type (CT) is a series of X-rays. When these forms of imaging are combined:

  • They reveal details about the size and shape of structures and how much energy they are using.
  • They can check for different diseases and help monitor patients for the return of certain types of cancers.

So that appropriate precautions are taken, be sure to tell the technician if you are pregnant or could be pregnant or if you are breast-feeding.

  • Tell your healthcare provider about the medicines you take, any allergies you have, and any recent imaging studies using contrast.
  • Your healthcare provider will tell you how to prepare for the test. You will probably be told not eat or drink anything except water for several hours before the test.
  • The radioactive substance will be injected into a vein in your arm. You will then wait about an hour for the substance to be absorbed by your tissues.
  • You must lie very still during the exam because moving could blur the images.

The costs for this test include the charge for the test (facility charge) and physician charges (for performing or interpreting the test). You may get separate bills from the facility and the physician's office.

What should I ask my health care provider before having this test?

  • Is there any special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear steps to follow.)
  • What is the reason for the test? Are the test results likely to change my treatment plan? If not, why do I need the test?
  • What other tests could be done instead of this X-ray? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?


Also known as:

PET Scan with CT Scan
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