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Positron Emission Tomography - PET/CT Scan

If your doctor has prescribed a PET/CT scan, you are in good hands. One of the most advanced diagnostic tools available today is now available at Sarasota Memorial. The region's only PET/ CT Scan offers imaging that is safe, simple, accurate, thorough and fast. In less than an hour the PET/CT can scan your entire body for conditions affecting your heart, brain and other organs. Your doctor will be able to pinpoint your problem faster, start treatment earlier and even avoid some surgeries.

The PET/CT Scan offers the electronic fusion of CT and PET images on the same scanner. This technology allows for direct visual comparison of two different data sets. In other words, it shows how the organs look and how they are working. Traditional medical tests like CT scans show the physical structure of your body in great detail. A PET scan examines your body's chemistry, giving your physician valuable information about how your body is functioning. The PET/CT Scan gives your doctor the whole story.

How it works

Your cells and body tissue contain glucose, a kind of sugar. The PET portion of the technology uses this same kind of sugar, which has been chemically attached to a tracer drug, to help isolate a disease. First a solution is injected into your bloodstream. Since the tracer drug contains a small, safe amount of a radiopharmaceutical (the radiation equivalent of a couple of chest x-rays), it emits signals as it travels through your body and collects in the organs that your physician wants to study. A scanner then records these signals and turns them into pictures. The fusion of the CT scan and the PET scan shows your physician where any problems may lie.

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