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PET Scan

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PET SCAN DEFINITION

A PET scan or positron emission tomography scan is an imaging diagnostic tool, which is used to look for a disease in the body. It provides more pronounced imaging as opposed to MRI and CT scan. A PET scan can show how tissues and organs are actually working.

PET SCAN PURPOSE

A PET scan is usually suggested to check brain function. It can also detect cancer, brain disorders, and heart problems and see how they are progressing.

PET SCAN RISKS

A PET scan uses a small amount of radiation in order to make vivid images. Although it is low, some people may have an allergic reaction to it. However, this happens rarely.

PET SCAN PREPARATION REQUIRED

Before a PET scan, you will need to discuss some conditions with your doctor including pregnancy, claustrophobia, and allergy. Also, you will be given instructions not to take any food 4 to 6 hours prior to testing although you may be allowed to drink water.
PET SCAN
Image: PET SCAN

PET SCAN PROCEDURE

A PET scan is handled similar to MRI and CT scan. You will be injected with a radioactive dye. Afterwards, you will be laid in a narrow table, which goes through a scanner. While you are there, 3D images will be taken, which will help your doctor see through inside you better.

PET SCAN COMPLICATIONS

Generally, a PET scan is safe and can be done without complications. It is a different thing, however, with pregnant and lactating women as well as those who may have an allergic reaction to the tracer.

PET SCAN SIDE EFFECTS

If you are pregnant or nursing a newborn baby, you might be advised against taking the PET scan. Even the small amount of radiation can cause harm to your fragile baby.

PET SCAN RESULTS

There are some things that may affect the result of a PET scan. That’s why doctors may not consider its results as absolute. If any abnormalities are found, your doctor may order additional tests to make a definite diagnosis, which is significant in prescribing an effective treatment plan.
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