Watch Now: 6/15/14 – How Does PET Scan Work?

What is PET Scan? – PET imaging is a non-invasive, diagnostic imaging technique for measuring the metabolic activity of cells in the human body. Since the early 1990s PET has been used by physicians across the country on patients with certain types of cancer as well as patients with conditions affecting the brain and heart. What makes PET unique is the image that it produces of the body’s basic biochemistry, compared to traditional diagnostic procedures like x-rays, which only produce images of the body’s anatomy or structure.
How it works – A PET scan is completed in simple fashion by your physician. It begins with a small amount of radioactive material that is attached to a compound such glucose or water that is familiar to your body. From there the radioactive drug is given to you, usually by injection. Once the drug is in your body, the PET scanner will produce images for your physician to see how your body processes the drug. The final result will help in the diagnoses and treatment plan for which you will receive. This procedure is most commonly used in the diagnosis and care of patients with cancer.