Positron emission tomography
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a medical imaging technique that uses a small amount of a radioactive tracer to produce detailed, three-dimensional images of the body's internal structures.
The tracer is typically injected into the patient's bloodstream and travels to the area of the body being studied.
It then emits positrons, which are detected by the PET scanner. These detections are then used to create detailed images of the body's metabolism and biochemical activity.
- PET scans are most commonly used to image the brain, heart, and cancer, as well as for other organ systems.
- PET scans can detect changes in cellular activity before any structural changes are visible with other imaging modalities like CT or MRI.
- It's a powerful tool for detecting early cancer and assessment of treatment response, and evaluation of the extent of spread of cancer.
- PET scans also used to evaluate brain function, such as in patients with dementia or brain tumors, as well as to determine the blood flow to the heart muscle.