Positron Emission Tomography

Think of the PET scanner as a powerful camera that takes detailed pictures of the body's biological functions. With the help of a computer, it identifies normal organ function and can pinpoint the failure of a diseased organ system.

Patients getting a PET scan will be given an I.V. injection of a radiopharmaceutical which needs to circulate through the body for 60 to 90 minutes. Patients will be able to read, converse with friends or family, or listen to music while waiting for a scan. Brain scans require the patient to sit in a "quiet room" to limit brain stimulation. Heart scans may begin immediately.

After their wait, patients will be placed on a table that moves them slowly through the PET scanner. They are asked to lie as still as possible because movement can interfere with the scan results. Depending on the type of test, PET scans can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a full hour to complete.

For more information about PET Scans, visit this site.