PET/CT is a new imaging tool that combines two scan techniques in one exam – a PET scan and a CT scan. PET/CT is mainly used for diagnosis, staging or restaging malignant disease and metastases and evaluation of treatment response. It may also be used to differentiate dementia verses Alzheimer’s disease. The two procedures together provide information about the location, nature of and the extent of the lesion.
CT stands for Computerized Tomography (commonly known as a CAT scan). During the CT scan, the scanner emits X-rays, which go through the patient to detectors. The computer uses this information to generate cross-sectional images of anatomical structures.
PET stands for Positron Emission Tomography. PET scans measure metabolic activity and molecular function by using a radioactive glucose injection. The PET scanner detects the radiation emitted from the patient, and the computer generates three-dimensional images of tissue function or cell activity in the tissues of your body. These functional images can detect disease earlier than the anatomic information gained from CT alone.
Learn more about PET/CT Imaging here.