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Pet CT Scan in India

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that helps reveal how your tissues and organs are functioning. A PET scan uses a radioactive drug (tracer) to show this activity.

The tracer may be injected, swallowed or inhaled, depending on which organ or tissue is being studied by the PET scan. The tracer collects in areas of your body that have higher levels of chemical activity, which often correspond to areas of disease. On a PET scan, these areas show up as bright spots.

A PET scan is useful in revealing or evaluating several conditions, including some cancers, heart disease and brain disorders.

What does a PET scan show?

  • It can show the difference between active cancer tissue and scar tissue
  • The presence of a cancer can also be seen
  • It can also decide an appropriate treatment for cancer
  • It can also determine the stage of cancer
  • It can show the spread of the cancer to different parts of the body
  • It can show how the treatment for cancer is working
  • The presence of a lump in cancer can also be seen

The use of PET scan for Doctors

Doctors also use PET-CT scans to:

conditions That can be examined with the help of PET scans include

PET scans must be interpreted carefully because noncancerous conditions can look like cancer, and many types of cancer do not appear on PET scans. The types of cancer most likely to show up on PET scans include:

  • Brain
  • Breast
  • Cervical
  • Colorectal
  • Esophageal
  • Head and neck
  • Lung
  • Lymphoma
  • Melanoma
  • Pancreatic
  • Prostate
  • Thyroid

Heart disease

PET scans can reveal areas of decreased blood flow in the heart. This information can help you and your doctor decide, for example, whether you might benefit from a procedure to open clogged heart arteries (angioplasty) or coronary artery bypass surgery.

Brain disorders

PET scans can be used to evaluate certain brain disorders, such as:

  • Tumors
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Seizures
  • ·  Parkinson’s disease (a progressive disease of the nervous system in which a fine tremor, muscle weakness, and a peculiar type of gait are seen)
  • Huntington’s disease (a hereditary disease of the nervous system which causes increasing dementia, bizarre involuntary movements, and abnormal posture)
  • Epilepsy (a brain disorder involving recurrent seizures)
  • Stroke
  • To locate the specific area to be reached during brain surgery
  • To evaluate the brain after injury to look for a blood clot or bleeding in, or blood and oxygen flow to the brain tissue
  • To detect the spread of cancer to other parts of the body from the original cancer site
  • To see how well cancer treatment is working
  • To evaluate blood flow heart muscle to determine if treatment is needed to improve blood flow to the heart  and to determine the effects of a heart attack
  • To further identify lung lesions or masses seen on chest X-ray and/or chest CT
  • To look for cancers that have come back after treatment and find them earlier than can be done with other diagnostic tests

How does a PET scan work

Radiotracer : The first step before beginning a PET scan is to use a machine named cyclotron that helps in producing a radioactive medicine. A natural chemical that can be ammonia, glucose or water is tagged with the radioactive medicine. The name given to this tagged natural chemical is radiotracer. The insertion of this tracer is then done into the human body. The radiotracer will then travel to different areas within the body that makes use of the natural chemical. Fluorodeoxyglucose or FDG is a type of radioactive drug that shows the presence of cancers as cancers use glucose differently from normal tissue.

Detecting Positrons : The energy emitted by a positron (a positively charged particle) can be detected by a PET scan. Positrons are made when the radiotracer is broken down within the body of patient. This looks like a 3-dimensional image on a computer screen.

PET scan Images : The image will reveal the functioning of the different parts of the body when they are breaking down the radiotracer. The various levels of positrons will be displayed according to color and brightness by a PET image. The examination of the complete image is the done by a radiologist.

Procedure of PET scans

PET scans may be done on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your doctor’s practices.

Generally, a PET scan follows this process:

  1. You will be asked to remove any clothing, jewelry, or other objects that may get in the way of the scan. A bracelet with your name and an identification number may be put on your wrist. You may get a second bracelet if you have allergies.
  2. If you are asked to remove your clothing, you will be given a gown to wear.
  3. You will be asked to empty your bladder before starting the procedure.
  4. An intravenous (IV) line will be started in your hand or arm for injection of the radioactive tracer. (Depending on the type of PET scan you may inhale or swallow the tracer.)
  5. Certain types of scans of the abdomen (belly) or pelvis may require that a urinary catheter be put into the bladder to drain urine during the procedure.
  6. In some cases, an initial scan may be done before the radioactive tracer is injected, depending on the type of study being done.
  7. You will be in a chair or on a table in a quiet room.
  8. The radioactive tracer will be injected into your vein. The tracer will be allowed to concentrate in the organ or tissue for about 45 to 60 minutes. You will stay in the facility during this time and will be asked to rest quietly. You will not be hazardous to other people, as the tracer emits less radiation than a standard X-ray.
  9. After the tracer has been absorbed for a certain length of time, you will be positioned on a padded table inside the scanner ring and the scan will begin. The scanner will move slowly over the body part being studied.
  10. When the scan has been completed, the IV line will be removed. If a urinary catheter has been inserted, it will be removed, too.

While the PET scan itself causes no pain, having to lie still for the length of the procedure might cause some discomfort or pain, particularly if you have recently had surgery or a joint injury. The technologist will use all possible comfort measures and complete the procedure as quickly as possible to minimize any discomfort or pain.

Cost of a PET scan

A PET scans has proved itself as an effective tool for diagnosing the cancer. The cost of a PET scan in India varies from Rs 6000 in case of government set-up and Rs 11,550 in case of private set-up. The radioactive material FDG determines the cost of PET scan.