Positron Emission Tomography (PET)/CT Scan
A PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan utilizes a particular substance called a radioactive tracer which, when it enters the body, becomes absorbed into the body’s organs and tissues. The PET scanner highlights the tracer, revealing information as to how well the organs and tissues are functioning. This type of scan is used most commonly in the detection of cancer, heart conditions, brain abnormalities and complications with the central nervous system.
PET scans are performed simultaneously with CT scans, which reveal the location of diseases within the body. A PET/CT study combines the benefits of these two types of scans into a single exam.
You should be contacted at least 48 hours prior to your procedure to confirm your exam date and time, review instructions on how to prepare, and answer any questions you may have regarding the procedure. If you have not been contacted 48 hours before your exam, please call (585) 784-2985. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please call at least 24 hours before your procedure. The radiopharmaceutical used for this test is purchased 24 hours prior to testing and cannot be returned, saved or used on another patient.
We ask that you call at least 3 days ahead if any of the following pertain to you so we may make the appropriate modifications to your treatment plan:
- If you believe you may be pregnant, you are nursing or you are claustrophobic.
- If you have had a contrast allergy/reaction (i.e., hives, rash, itching, breathing difficulty) while undergoing a previous imaging study.
- If you are taking diabetic medication.
- If you have had any other imaging studies performed at institutions other than a UR Medicine Imaging Site, so prior images may be requested for comparison.
Instructions Prior to Your Procedure
24 Hours Prior
Do not consume caffeine, alcohol or tobacco. Remove any nicotine patches.
Maintain a low carbohydrate diet. Refrain from eating pasta, breads, potatoes, cereals, rice, desserts, candy and sugar. Do not consume gum, mints, throat sprays, tums or cough drops.
- Do not exercise and avoid strenuous activity (e.g. yard work and house work).
6 Hours Prior
- Do not eat. This includes gum, candy and mints. However, you should have 2 glasses (about 16 oz. total) of water before arriving to your exam.
Instructions for the Day of Your Procedure
- Please arrive on time. Allow extra time in your trip for weather, traffic and parking. The radiopharmaceutical used for this procedure will not allow us to accommodate late patients and may result in your exam having to be rescheduled.
- Keep warm if your appointment is scheduled during a cold month. Heat your car prior to leaving home for your appointment. The quality of the scan can be affected if a patient is exposed to cold temperatures for a period of time.
- Remove and leave all jewelry and/or metal at home.
- Leave valuables at home.
- Bring your insurance card and photo ID.
- If you are pregnant, nursing or claustrophobic, notify a UR Medicine staff member.
- If you have a known contrast allergy, notify a UR Medicine staff member.
- All medications, except for diabetic, can be taken with water.
- A parent/guardian should remain in the building when a child (under 19 years) is having an imaging procedure.
- All parents/guardians having an imaging study must be aware that there is no supervision available for children. Please do not have children accompany you to your appointment.
Instructions After Your Procedure
- After the procedure please wait 3 hours before getting very close to children, pregnant women or pets.
- Your results will be sent to your referring physician within 2 business days. Please contact your physician.
- If you have a MyChart account, your results will be posted in 14 days.
Positron emission tomography (PET)/CT scans are provided at the following locations: