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Pet Scan

PET Scan

In modern screening and diagnostic methods a combined imaging technology approach is spreading worldwide, which means that for more accurate results traditional imaging like MRI and X-rays are often complemented with newer means of imaging such as PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography). While traditional imaging shows in static images what parts of the body look like, PET scan is able to project 3-dimensional images of the functional processes in the body on molecular and cellular level with the help of a radioactive medicine and a CT scan.

What Conditions Can PET CT Scan Diagnose and Monitor?

  • Potential heart attacks and other heart diseases
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Besides PET scan cancer diagnosis the technique has been used for staging and monitoring the efficiency of the cancer therapy
  • Examining brain functions

The PET Scan Technology

A radioactive medicine is needed for the procedure that is attached to a bioactive chemical such as water, glucose or ammonia; the chioce depends on the body part to be screened. This natural chemical connected to the radioactive substance will serve as a radiotracker inside the body, as it will ’travel’ to the part of the body that uses the particular chemical (glucose, ammonia). When the radiotracker reaches its destination, it breaks down into positrons and the PET scan senses the energy produced by the positrons and the image is projected about the workings of the body part is question by the way it breaks down the the radiotracker into positrons.

The PET Scan Procedure

The PET scan procedure is usually done as an outpatient screening method, the results of which must be interpreted by a radiologist. PET CT scan is painless and non-invasive, but sickness and headaches may accompany the examination because of the presence of the radioactive substance.  The whole PET scan procedure takes between one and three hours depending on the body part to be screened.

As a first step the radiotracker is placed inside the body through injection or inhalation. When the tracker has reached the organ the patient lying on a bed is slid through a ring like circle which takes images of the body from different angles and the images are stored on a computer for analysis.

PET Scan Cost

In cancer treatment and diagnosing some other life-threatening conditions insurance policies usually cover the PET scan cost, which can range between 800USD and 10,000UDS, CT scan included. As always, in the U.S it depends on the location and the facility the PET scan is performed at, however, in countries like the U.K. or Australia scanning costs are fully covered by the health insurance.