A PET/CT scan is a specialized exam combining PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and
CT (Computed Tomography) to assess the metabolic activity of cells and provide anatomic localization, respectively. Patient Instruction Sheet for PET/CT
What will I experience during a PET/CT scan?
- You may be asked to drink oral contrast material.
- Your blood glucose level will be checked.
- You will be injected with a small amount of radiopharmaceutical, 18FDG (radioactive sugar), after which you will rest in a quiet room for approximately 90 minutes.
- You will be asked to remain still during the exam, which lasts from 30 to 45 minutes.
- After the procedure, you will be asked to empty your bladder prior to leaving our office.
- You may resume your normal activities after the exam. Drink plenty of fluids to help flush
any trace amounts of radioactive material from your body.
- A board-certified radiologist will interpret the results of your exam and share these results with your physician. Your physician will discuss the results with you.
- Read the general instructions on our home page.
- Notify our staff prior to your exam if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are
- Wear comfortable clothing that does not contain metal or zippers. It is suggested that you wear warm clothing, even in the summer months.
- Abstain from eating or drinking four hours prior to exam, except for water and medications.
- Stay hydrated by drinking six to nine glasses of water the day prior to your exam, and continue to drink water up until your exam.
- Eat a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet 24 hours prior to your exam. Suggested foods
include all non-starchy vegetables (green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, green beans, zucchini) as well as fish, eggs, meats and cheese. Diets should consist of less than five grams of carbohydrates per serving of food.
- If you are claustrophobic, you can schedule a time with our staff to look at the machine
prior to your exam. You may also ask your physician to prescribe a single dose of relaxant for the day of the exam, if necessary. In this case, please arrange for transportation to and from our office.
- Please allow three full hours in your schedule for your exam.
- Do not wear jewelry, piercings or removable dental work.
- Avoid high-sugar, high-carbohydrate foods like milk, peas, corn, rice, potatoes, beans, fruit, ALL cereals, pastas, breads and grains.
- Do not eat or drink any caffeinated/decaffeinated food items, juice, alcohol, gum, mints, candy, or cough drops for 24 hours prior to exam.
- Avoid any strenuous exercise, work, or cleaning 24 hours prior to your exam.
- Do not bring children or pregnant women with you to the exam.
- If you have diabetes, do not eat for two hours prior to the exam and do not take insulin within four hours of your exam. If you have a blood glucose level of greater than 200 mg/dL, your exam may need to be rescheduled. Consult with your physician with questions or concerns.