Positron emission tomography, or PET, is a diagnostic exam that measures cell changes in the body. Commonly used to detect cancer, heart disease and neurological disorders (such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease), PET scans provide both anatomical and metabolic information, allowing physicians to visualize changes within tissues or organs early—often before a disease progresses.
How does PET work? All living cells use glucose (sugar), and some—such as cancer cells—break glucose down quickly. With the help of a radioactive "tracer," PET scans home in on these metabolically active tissues, giving physicians a clear picture of any abnormalities that may be present.
PET Scan Process
During a PET scan, the patient is injected with a small amount of radioactive material 30 to 60 minutes prior to the exam. The actual scan lasts about an hour, and the radiation leaves the body within a few hours. There is no risk of radiation exposure to the patient or to people with whom he or she may come into contact.
Combination PET/CT Scanner
CentraState now offers a combination PET/CT scanner, which fuses the diagnostic capabilities of positron emission tomography and computed tomography (CT). This revolutionary tool pairs the fine structural detail of CT with PET’s ability to detect changes in cell function, allowing physicians to identify both the presence of disease and its exact location. Now disorders can be detected earlier, more quickly and more accurately than ever before, and patients will not have to endure two separate tests in order to get a diagnosis.
PET scanning is available at Freehold MR Associates on the campus of CentraState Medical Center.
To schedule an appointment for a PET scan, please call (732) 462-3716.