PET is an acronym for Positron Emission Tomography. PET imaging requires an injection, in a vein of the arm, of a radioactive isotope call FDG. 18-Fluoro-deoxy-glucose (18-FDG commonly called FDG) is an ideal agent used in the evaluation of benign verses malignant medical conditions. Body tissues favor the use of glucose (sugar) when affected by infection, inflammatory, or cancerous processes. FDG has a chemical composition, which is very similar to glucose, however, FDG is radioactive and can therefore be detected by using a PET/CT scanner which can generate an image.
PET/CT scanners have been developed in order to perform a CT scan of the body in conjunction with a PET scan. The benefit of using such advanced equipment is that the CT and PET images can be perfectly combined, to show the interpreting physician where the radioactive glucose is localized in the body with great precision. PET/CT imaging is helpful in determining whether abnormal tissue seen on a CT scanner represents infection, inflammation, cancer, or whether the tumor is responding to therapies, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
PET/CT imaging may be used in the differentiation of benign verses malignant lesions, cancer staging, differentiation of recurrent or residual malignant disease from therapy-induced changes (post-surgical or after radiation) and monitoring the response to therapy.
Please notify us or your physicians office:
- if you are claustrophobic.
- if you are unable to tolerate a CT scan, MRI scans or require sedation.
- if you are unable to lie still for 30 to 60 minutes.
- if you have recently undergone surgery (up to 6 mo), recent chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or any other type of diagnostic procedures within the last 3 months.
- if you have a history of diabetes. Please alert the clerk at the time of scheduling that you are a diabetic patient for more specific instructions prior to the examination.
- if you are unable to raise or put your arms over your head for the time of this examination.
Any special precautions or special concerns should be discussed with the PET/CT physician when you schedule your exam.
Exams may be scheduled by contacting our PET department directly. Please note that appointments may only be scheduled through a physician's office. Current patient information will be requested to ensure the department is properly prepared for the patient's arrival. To contact the PET/CT imaging department at UnityPoint Health please call (309) 672-4189 or (309) 672-4190.
Our PET department will try to confirm patient appointments 24 hours prior to the scheduled exam time. For this reason, we will request current contact information at the time of scheduling. If a phone call is not received prior to your test, please feel free to call our department the afternoon prior to your exam in order to confirm your appointment. Our scheduling personnel are available 7:30 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday.
If you have to reschedule your appointment, you may do so by contacting the PET department directly. Prior notification, at least 24 hours prior to the exam, is appreciated. The cancellation notice will allow our department to cancel any medication orders that will no longer be needed, as well as will allow another patient to have that appointment time.