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Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan

  • What is a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan?

    PET is an advanced medical procedure that takes detailed images of an organ or system in the body with the use of a radioactive substance called a 'tracer'. The scans are commonly used to evaluate and diagnose cancers, neurological (brain) disorders, and cardiovascular (heart) diseases.

    During a PET scan, a radioactive tracer is injected into the blood and images of the body are recorded using a PET scanner. The scanner detects the emissions of the radioactive tracer in the body and a computer then creates multi-dimensional images of the part of the body being examined. The radiotracers usually gather in diseased tissues more than in healthy tissues, thus highlighting them for the scanner to record. Most PET scanners are combined with computed tomography (CT) scanners. This further allows the structural information provided by CT images to be combined with the PET’s functional information.

  • A PET scan is mainly used to find and monitor conditions including cancers, neurological (brain) disorders, and cardiovascular (heart-related) diseases. It can find cancers before they can be found using other imaging techniques (eg. CT and MRI scans). It also helps the doctor determine if a cancer is spreading and where it is spreading to.

    A PET scan can help in the planning of surgery for epileptic seizures by showing which part of the brain is responsible for the epilepsy. It is also used to assess Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease because the resulting images can pinpoint areas of the brain that are not functioning normally. Early detection of these neurological disorders lead to more effective treatment.

  • Your goal of getting swift, accurate and effective treatment is our strength. Our skilled team of specialists and staff at Gleneagles Hospital is committed to placing your needs foremost. High-quality, customised healthcare has been our legacy for more than 50 years.

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