What is PET/CT scan?
There are two parts to a PET/CT examination, both performed at the same time on the same scanner; a PET (positron emission tomography) scan and a CT (computed tomography) scan. The PET scan shows areas with increased metabolic activity, while the CT scan shows detailed anatomy. A combination of the two images together enables a doctor to tell whether a region with high metabolic activity is significant, and if so, to state where it is in the body.
The PET/CT is a diagnostic tool mainly used in oncology, neurology, cardiology, infection/inflammation and in planning surgery. Often a PET CT scan is repeated to monitor the effect of treatment of a particular disease
In order to perform the PET scan a radioactive isotope is injected into the body. This isotope accumulates in areas of metabolic activity, and is picked up by the PET scanner.
We can provide the following scans:
18F-FDG, 18F- NAF, 18F-Choline, 68G-PSMA, 68G-Dota-NOC
What happens during a PET/CT scan?
You will stay with us for approximately 2 hours. You will need to rest for one hour after the isotope injection. The scan itself takes only 15 minutes. Depending on your clinical indication we may need to take extra images.
What preparation should I take?
It is very important to have followed the correct preparation for your scan, otherwise it could result in the scan being postponed or cancelled. If you are not sure what to do please ask the nuclear medicine staff.
You will need to fast for 6 hours before your appointment as this helps the body to absorb the isotope. Fasting means NO food, but you may drink water during this time. For patients with diabetes, where possible a late morning appointment is given, as you will need to have had a light breakfast, but you will need to fast for 4 hours before your appointment.
At the time of the scan you will be asked to change into a gown. You may also need to take off jewellery and empty your bladder. You must tell us if you are, or could be, pregnant or if you are breast feeding. Pregnant women are advised not to have PET CT scans as there is a risk the radiation may affect the development of the unborn baby.
What if I suffer from claustrophobia?
The scanner has a wide gantry which reduces claustrophobia, but if you need any additional support the team can show you the scanner before your appointment time. The actual scan times are very short, but we advise you to seek support from your GP and request complementary medication to allow you to relax, if appropriate.
Why choose Bupa Cromwell Hospital for PET/CT scans?
Our PET/CT scanner uses more sensitive detectors than most other scanners. These provide excellent quality images in the shortest possible time. The open design of the scanner and shorter scan time are helpful if you suffer from claustrophobia. We can also perform scans on children, using general anaesthetic if needed.
You will have your own private room for resting before the scan. Your relatives will also have a comfortable resting area. Our experienced doctors and nurses will take the time to answer any questions you may have and put you to ease before, during and after the scan. We offer a relaxed and friendly environment for patients.
How do I pay for treatment?
We welcome both insured and self-pay patients as well as company and embassy sponsored patients
Read more about payment options