Positron Emission Tomography


PET ScanPositron emission tomography (PET) is a type of nuclear medicine study that produces unique images of the body. The test involves injecting a very small dose of a radioactive substance, into the blood. This tracer travels through the body and is absorbed by the organs and tissues being studied. You will then lie down in a scanner that look very similar to a CT scanner. In fact, our PET scanner has a CT scanner built in; a PET/CT scanner. This machine detects and records the energy given off by the injected radioactive substance. It also make CT scan pictures. The unique nature of the pictures comes from combining the PET pictures with the CT scan pictures. This allows the radiologist to give your doctor combined information about the structure and function of your body. These combined pictures can also be looked at in three dimensions or as "slices".

How is a PET scan different from a CT or MRI scan?

PET, CT and MRI each image the body differently and provide different information to your doctors. PET and CT images can be combined in our PET/CT scanners. Your doctor in collaboration with Guthrie Medical Imaging radiologists and technologists will decide which type of scan is most appropriate for your health care problem. PET scans are useful because they can tell the functioning of a organ or tissue. For some problems and circumstances PET is best while for others, PET/CT, CT or MRI is better. Sometimes you may need more than one study.

For more information:

If you have questions or concerns about our services, call:

The Guthrie Medical Imaging Patient Satisfaction Hotline: 1-888-833-3319