A PET/CT exam provides a picture of anatomy (CT) merged with pictures of your body’s function (PET).
What do I need to do to prepare?
PET/CT Exam requires special preparation, so please follow instructions carefully.
For 24 hours prior to your scan:
- Please avoid food and drinks that contain sugar or carbohydrates for 24 hours before your scan. This will help ensure the best possible quality for your scan.
Foods to Eat 24 Hours before Scan
- Proteins and Vegetables
- Meat, tofu, fish, eggs
- (no breading, no sauce)
- Non-starchy vegetables
- broccoli, spinach, green beans, etc.
Foods to Avoid for 24 Hours before Scan
- All flavored or caffeinated beverages including alcohol
- All desserts, bread, chips,
- crackers, rice, cereal, pasta
- Jams, jellies and honey
- Mints, gum, candy
- Starchy vegetables
- corn, peas, potatoes, dry beans
What if I am diabetic?
If you are diabetic, you will be given special instructions by your physician regarding your blood glucose levels and diet.
Please avoid exercise, caffeine, gum, mints, nicotine and massage.
Keep warm for at least 24 hours before your scan, this helps with the quality of the PET images.
On the day of your scan: please enter the main entrance of St. Peters Health and check in with the reception desk. Prepare to spend 2 hours with us.
PET/CT scans are performed after you have fasted for 6 hours. We do ask that you continue to drink plain water up until the time of the exam. It is important that you are well hydrated for your scan.
You may take your usual medications with water.
If you are taking sedation for your exam, follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. Please bring the bottle of medication to your appointment.
What should I expect during the scan?
After you have checked in, our licensed Nuclear Medicine Technologist will escort you into the quiet room of our mobile PET/CT unit, where we will start an I.V. and give you an injection of a small amount of radioactive glucose (FDG). This small amount of radioactive material is medically safe, and has a very short life span of activity. The radiation exposure from this injection is similar to that of a conventional CT exam.
After the injection, we will have you relax quietly in a comfortable reclining chair for 45-60 minutes before we actually perform the scan. This waiting time allows the radioactive glucose to distribute in your body according to the metabolic activity of various tissues.
The Technologist will then escort you into the scanning room and have you lie on the scan bed.
You will feel a series of movements throughout the exam. Our technologist will have direct visual and verbal contact with you at all times.
The scanning portion of the PET/CT exam is approximately 20-30 minutes.
After the imaging sequences are complete, the technologist will escort you back to the main entrance.
The scan is then reviewed by our Radiologist. The report is typically available in 1-2 business days. Please follow up with your physician for the results of your scan.