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PET Scans

(Positron Emission Tomography)

Premier Radiology and Borgess Medical Center have partnered to provide PET imaging services for the community and are dedicated to continuing the advancement of this evolving technology for our patients. Our radiologists are well trained in the technology and see it as an emerging useful tool alongside more conventional imaging studies to diagnose and help treat disease.

PET and PET/CT Scans create diagnostic images that evaluate body function, metabolism and detect biochemical processes that may suggest disease before anatomical changes can be seen with X-RAY, CT or MRI. The value of a PET scan is enhanced when it is used for comparison with X-ray, CT or MRI. PET scans may be performed on the whole body and are most often used to detect cancer and to monitor cancer therapy.

PET is a nuclear medicine technique, which captures images of the human body's function and reveals information about disease. With PET scan imaging, physicians can collect images of function throughout the entire body, uncovering abnormalities that might otherwise go undetected. No other imaging technique shows the internal metabolism of the body so well. Often times, PET can detect and stage most cancers before they are evident through other tests such as X-ray, MRI and CT scan. PET also can give physicians important information about heart viability and neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's, seizure disorders and brain tumors.

PET is a reliable, non-invasive way to tell whether or not a tumor is benign or malignant. PET scan imaging evaluates for cancer in a single examination, which allows physicians to stage a cancer and to suggest treatment options earlier, which may spare patients expensive and often painful surgical procedures.

How does the PET work?
When disease strikes, the metabolism of tissues and cells change; using a tracer drug to highlight areas within the body, a PET scan picks up a signal from the organs. If an area in an organ is abnormal, the metabolism will be different than in the surrounding tissues. This data is computer processed and made into images.

What should I expect during my PET scan?
Specific instructions will be given to you at the time you are scheduled for your PET scan. In most cases, we will ask you not to eat or drink anything for 8-12 hours prior to your scan. If you are diabetic, please inform the PET staff so special arrangements can be made to meet your specific needs. PET procedures routinely require an intravenous injection of the tracer material. This necessitates a needle stick in an arm or hand vein, much like when having a blood sample drawn or when getting an IV line.

During the PET scan, you must lie down and remain very still for varying amounts of time, depending upon the procedure chosen for you. Some patients get stiff from keeping still, while others may fall asleep. The technologist performing the study will go over the procedure intended, so you will know the details of what to expect and what is expected of you.

For Physicians

Premier radiologists have more experience than any provider in the area.

PET Study Forms:
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