What is a PET Scan?

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans are a special type of imaging procedure that allows radiologists to see the metabolic activity, or function, of tissues and organs within the body. PET scans are particularly useful for the evaluation of cancer or tumors and if they have metastasized into other areas of the body. PET scans are also used to evaluate cancers after treatment to assess the effectiveness of the treatment itself.

In addition to cancer evaluations, PET scans are used to evaluate the brain for amyloid disease and for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological conditions.

How is a PET Scan performed?

PET scans require a radiopharmaceutical to be injected into the body. The contents of this injection attach themselves to areas of increased metabolic activity, which are generally cancer cells or inflammation. This process is referred to as “uptake” and can take between 15-60 minutes. During this time, patients are instructed to relax in special rooms to allow the radiopharmaceutical to do its job.

Once uptake is finished, the patient is escorted to a hybrid imaging scanner that utilizes both PET and CT components, hence the appropriately termed label of PET/CT. The CT scanner provides a low dose anatomical CT scan that allows the radiologist to see where the PET information is within the body. The CT information, along with the PET information, is fused together to provide a 3D view of the anatomy. The exam itself takes between 30-60 minutes.

Once finished, the Radiologist will review the scan information and generate a comprehensive report that includes their findings, comparisons, and any information relevant to the examination.

Why Choose The Radiology Clinic?

The Radiology Clinic is Montgomery County’s premier Radiology practice. Our providers are all board certified, fellowship trained Radiologists with decades of experience. Each PET scan is protocoled and tailored by a Radiologist to produce the most accurate examination for each patient and their underlying medical condition. Results are carefully reviewed and communicated to the ordering provider. Our Radiologists regularly confer with our local referring physician community to assure that each patient is scanned and diagnosed appropriately based on their underlying medical condition and stage of treatment.

The Radiology Clinic uses the latest PET technology to produce the highest quality imaging and the most comfortable experience for the patient. Our PET scanner utilizes the latest dose reduction techniques to minimize radiation exposure. The bore of the scanner is the largest on the market at 90 cm. This provides the patient with a comfortable and roomy examination, especially for those who may be claustrophobic.

At The Radiology Clinic, patients are treated like family, not a number!


For further information, or to make an appointment, contact The Radiology Clinic today!