PET-CT Skull to Thigh with FDG-Flourodeoxyglucose
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan is a diagnostic test. It uses a radioactive substance called a tracer to observe how the body tissue is working by assessing its metabolic activity. Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) is the commonly used tracer, a radiolabeled glucose taken up by the active cells and tissues. It produces color-coded images of the active tissues indicating their metabolic activity. It can also detect blood flow and oxygen use. In addition, it can detect tissues that are abnormally overactive or underactive. An FDG-PET scan is often combined with a CT scan with contrast to visualize the structural defects along with the metabolic activity to identify the diseased tissue accurately. For example, a PET CT scan of the skull to thigh creates images of all the structures and tissues in these regions.
Most commonly, it is used to identify the malignant tissue (cancer and its metastases), monitor the response to the treatment of cancers, viability of heart muscle (particularly following a heart attack), and brain tissue activity (in diseases like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s).
Why and when do you need this test?
Your doctor may advise this test if he suspects the presence of cancer or wants to see the response of the cancer tissues to the treatment. You may also be advised to undergo this test if you have heart issues like coronary artery disease. PET scans can also be used in some brain diseases to detect the activity of brain tissues.
Some common indications of the FDG-PET scan are the following;
- Presence of the cancer
- Presence of malignant cells in apparently normal tissue
- Spread of cancer (metastasis)
- Detect the response of cancerous tissues to the treatment
- Recurrence of cancer after treatment
- Viability of the heart tissue after a heart attack
- The activity of the brain tissues in brain diseases
Do you need to prepare for the test?
In order to make your scan successful, you may need to prepare for it before your appointment. Some important points to be taken care of are described below.
- Avoid strenuous exercise or sports activity 24 hours before the exam
- Try to stay warm the day before and on the day of your exam.
- Avoid carbohydrate-rich food one day before the exam, and eat food high in protein and low glycemic index
- Stay well hydrated before and after your test
- Do not eat anything 6 hours before the test
- You may drink only water and take medicines with water on the test day
- Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or diabetic
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing and avoid wearing jewelry or metallic objects.
What can you expect?
- On the test day, you will be taken to the desired room, where your identification and blood sugar will be checked.
- You will be given an oral contrast agent (barium or iodinated contrast) to drink 45-60 minutes before the test.
- You will be injected radiolabeled tracer in your arm vein 45 minutes before the exam.
- For the procedure, you will be asked to lie down on a table that will slide into the CT scan machine.
- For the concurrent CT with contrast, a contrast agent will be injected into your vein.
- You will be asked to stay still to prevent the images from getting blurry.
- You can resume your normal activities after the test.
- Try to increase your water intake to wash out the nuclear material from your body through urine.
Are there any risks to this test?
It is a safe procedure that uses a very low dose of radiation which can exert no harm. However, it can harm a developing fetus, so it is unsafe for pregnant women. The radioactive material will be washed out soon after your test. The contrast agent may rarely cause allergic reactions, but they can easily be prevented.
What do the test results mean?
Your result will be provided to your doctor, who can tell if there is any abnormality in the report. The results may show the following;
- Detection of cancer in organs like the head and neck, brain, breast, lungs, thyroid, esophagus, pancreatic, colorectal, prostate, etc.
- Heart tissue viability and need for angioplasty or by-pass surgery
- Brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and the need for surgery for epileptic focus.
- Response of the neoplastic tissue to the treatment
- Metastases of malignant neoplasm to other tissues
- CT scan
- MRI scan
- PET-MRI scan
Frequently ordered together
PET Cardiac Stress Test Stress-Rest
PET Brain with FDG-Flourodeoxyglucose
PET Skull to Thigh
PET Full Body
PET-CT Full Body FDG-Bone Scan Sodium Flouride
PET-CT Cu-64 Dotatate-DetectNet
PET-CT CARDIAC AMMONIA REST STUDY
PET-CT of Chest
PET-CT of Head
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