A PET/CT scan combines two imaging technologies into one exam—Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computed Tomography (CT). The PET scan produces images highlighting areas of high metabolic activity and the CT produces pictures of the body’s internal structures. The combined image provides a more accurate picture of what’s going on in the body than either scan alone.
PET/CT is used to help physicians more accurately diagnose and identify cancer, heart disease and brain disorders.
Your PET/CT Exam at TRA
When you have an imaging exam at TRA you can expect skilled, personal care every step of the way. Before your exam, a PET/CT technologist will review your medical and allergy history and answer any questions you may have. Your comfort during the exam is our top priority, so a technologist will be available throughout your exam.
The open design between the PET and CT portions of our scanner is much more comfortable for patients who are claustrophobic. Additionally, the wide diameter of the bore (opening) easily accommodates patients weighing up to 430 pounds while maintaining accuracy.
The Day of Your PET/CT Exam and How to Prepare
Prior to your exam, a TRA prior authorization specialist will work with your referring physician and insurance carrier to complete the required pre-exam authorization process. The prior authorization specialist will also contact you with your exam preparation and your appointment check-in time.
The PET/CT scan is a time sensitive procedure. It is important you are on-time to your check-in. If you must cancel or re-schedule please notify us 24 hours in advance so we can cancel the radiopharmaceutical tracer which has been ordered specifically for your exam.
Wear comfortable and warm clothing. You may be asked to change into a gown to avoid possible interference from any metal in your clothing. We will ask you to follow specific instructions for your PET/CT scan. Please do not eat or drink anything (except plain water) after midnight. The prep varies slightly for appointment check-in times starting at 2pm.
About an hour before your exam, a PET/CT technologist will check your blood glucose levels and inject the intravenous (IV) radiopharmaceutical tracer. You will then rest quietly while the tracer distributes through your body.
The PET/CT scans are usually about 20 minutes; but please allow 2-2 1/2 hours to complete the entire registration and exam process.
Your PET/CT Results
A board-certified radiologist with subspecialized training in PET/CT will interpret images from your exam. A final report will be completed within 24-48 hours and sent to your referring healthcare provider who will then explain the results and answer any follow-up questions you may have.
Additional Resources: www.radiologyinfo.org
The outpatient clinics managed by TRA Medical Imaging are fully accredited in PET/CT imaging by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR only grants accreditation when an imaging center provides patients the highest level of image quality and patient safety.
Through the Image Wisely® program, TRA Medical Imaging physicians and staff pledge to put patient safety, health and welfare first by optimizing all medical imaging exams. To learn more about the Image Wisely program at TRA Medical Imaging locations, click here.