A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that allows your doctor to check for diseases in your body. It helps reveal how your tissues and organs are functioning.
The scan uses a special dye containing radioactive tracers. These tracers are either swallowed, inhaled, or injected into a vein in your arm depending on what part of the body is being examined. Certain organs and tissues then absorb the tracer.
The tracer will collect in areas of higher chemical activity, which is helpful because certain tissues of the body, and certain diseases, have a higher level of chemical activity. These areas of disease will show up as bright spots on the PET scan.
The tracer may be injected, swallowed or inhaled, depending on which organ or tissue is being studied. The tracer collects in areas of your body that have higher levels of chemical activity, which often correspond to areas of disease. On a PET scan, these areas show up as bright spots.
A PET scan is useful in revealing or evaluating several conditions, including many cancers, heart disease and brain disorders. Often, PET images are combined with CT or MRI scans to create special views
The PET scan can measure blood flow, oxygen use, how your body uses sugar, and much more. This scan can sometimes detect disease before it shows up on other imaging tests.
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