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1. What is a PET scan?
A PET (positron emission tomography) scan is a nuclear medicine functional imaging test that helps reveal how your tissues and organs are functioning. It uses a radioactive tracer and can help in diagnosis of disease.
2. How is a PET scan performed?
PET scan uses a special dye containing radioactive tracers which are either swallowed, inhaled or injected into a vein of the arm. The tracer is absorbed by certain tissues and organs. The PET scanner detects the tracer which helps reveal how your tissues and organs are functioning. It is an outpatient procedure.
3. What is the duration of the PET scan?
The duration of PET scan is around 2- 4 hours. They are very useful to detect pathology such as cancer at very earlier stages.
4. Why is PET scan performed?
PET scan is performed to detect variety of conditions like cancer, heart disease and brain disorders. It can help in diagnosis of
- Cancers like brain, cervical, colorectal cancer etc at an early stage
- Heart diseases like coronary heart disease
- Brain disorders like Alzheimer's disease, seizures and tumours
- It can be used in stereotactic surgery and radiosurgery
- Musculoskeletal imaging
5. Is a PET scan superior to CT scan?
Yes, PET scans are superior to CT scans. The radiation exposure is the same in both scans, however, PET scan is superior for analysing the biological processes of the body and for detecting cancers at very early stage, which may not be detected by CT scan.