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PET CT is a combination of two most advanced state-of-the-art imaging technology

In recent years, few advanced imaging technology have been developed to detect or diagnosis health problems. This has helped doctors to a great extent in the diagnosis and treatment of various types of diseases. One such imaging technology is PET CT.

PET stands for Positron Emission Tomography. CT stands for Computerized Tomography. PET CT is a combination of two most advanced state-of-the-art imaging technology which now available at some of our network hospitals in India. A PET CT scan is a unique type of imaging test that helps doctors to see how the internal organs and tissues of the body are actually functioning.

How patients are benefited from this advanced diagnostic technology?

A PET CT scan shows the metabolic changes at the cellular level of tissue and organs and disease processes often begin with functional changes at the cellular level. This is where it differs from a traditional CT and MRI scan which only shows the anatomical details of any organ.

A PET CT scan can show or measure some of the very important functions of the body such as blood flow, oxygen use, and glucose metabolism. This helps doctors to identify abnormal from normal functioning organs and tissues. The PET scan can even be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment plan. This can help to adjust the course of treatment if necessary.

At present PET CT scan is predominantly used to detect various types of cancer. PET CT scans are also used to detect heart problems (such as coronary artery disease and damage to the heart following a heart attack), brain disorders (including brain tumors, memory disorders, seizures) and other central nervous system disorders.

PET imaging is used to diagnose diseases by monitoring the glucose metabolism in the cells of the body. The CT provides detailed anatomical information about the location, size and shape of various lesions. Lesions refer to any abnormal change involving any tissue or organ of the body. There are many types of lesions which may arise due to some injury or diseases like cancer etc.

How a PET CT Scan helps to detect a cancer?

In a The PET CT Scan imaging, a very small dose of a radioactive chemical, called a radiotracer, is injected into the vein of the patient’s arm. This tracer travels through the body of the patient and is absorbed by the organs. Next, the patient is asked to lie down on a flat examination table that is moved into the center of a PET scanner machine. This machine detects and records the energy given off by the tracer substance and, with the aid of a computer, this energy is converted into three-dimensional pictures. The doctors can then look at cross-sectional images of the body organ from any angle in order to detect any functional problems.

A cancer is caused due to an uncontrolled multiplication of body cells. For multiplication of body cells, energy is required. This energy is derived from glucose. The cancer cells require more glucose than the normal cells because fast multiplying cells requires more energy. A PET Scanner utilizes a radioactive molecule (tracer) that is similar to glucose. This glucose accumulates within the cancer cells due to their high rate of glucose metabolism. When a patient is scanned under a PET Scan, the resulting images show the distribution of the radioactive glucose throughout the body. Areas of increased metabolism appear as hot spots on the images.

What are the benefits of a PET CT Scan?

PET CT scan is a medical imaging modality that inspects all organ system of the body to search for the disease in a single examination. It can help doctors in diagnosing diseases at a much earlier stage when compared to conventional diagnostic procedures and help them to make accurate diagnosis, staging and restaging of cancer, deciding upon treatment plans and, monitoring the effectiveness of the cancer therapies. Moreover PET CT Scan also helps the surgeon as it can prevent ineffective or unnecessary surgical procedures.

This diagnostic procedure for cancer helps a lot in saving time, money and unnecessary trauma to the patient. The scanning time is very less and the qualities of images are far better than the conventional images.

PET CT can be used for cancer patients and also for non-cancer patients.

Cancer Diagnosis: For patients suffering with cancer PET Scan is used for cancer detection, staging of cancer, treatment response for cancer therapies and restaging of cancer.

Neurology: PET scan is used for the evaluation of Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease, Epilepsy, Tumor etc.

Cardiology: PET is the gold standard to detect viability of myocardium after Myocardial Infarction (MI)

Infection: Osteomyelitis, Periprosthetic Infection, PUO evaluation.

Does the PET CT scan pose any risk to the patient ?

A PET scan is usually done on an outpatient basis. The patient is asked to wear comfortable to change into a hospital gown during the test. Even though a radiotracer chemical is used in PET CT scan imaging, the amount of radiation you are exposed to is not that high since the dose of tracer used is so small that it does not affect the normal processes of the body. However, the radiotracer may expose the foetus of patients who are pregnant or infants of women who breastfeed to the radiation. This has to be discussed with the doctor before the scan procedure. The doctor will be able to guide the patient on this. It is very important to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant before undergoing a PET CT scan because of radiation exposure.

PET CT scan in India

The advanced diagnostic procedure like PET CT Scan may cost too much in some countries and in some other countries this facility may not be available at all. At our network hospitals in India, this kind of advanced facilities and technology are available at most affordable cost.  For more information please write to us at medical@treatmentassistance.in or call +91 9900 244 323.

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