Preparing For Your PET/CT Imaging

PET stands for positron emission tomography. CT stands for computed tomography. Together, they can show the structures and processes in your body. PET/CT can help your care team view your cells and your bones. It uses small amounts of a radioactive substance, or tracer, and a camera. The tracer is designed to go to a specific area of the body. It emits a small amount of radiation the camera can detect.

Before the exam
It is important to follow instructions, or we may have to schedule a new appointment.
  • You will receive instructions about preparing for your exam.
  • You may need to remove your jewelry or any clothing with metal on it.
  • You may need to change your diet or stop eating or drinking for several hours.
  • You may take any normal daily medicines unless you receive different instructions.
  • Please arrive 90 minutes prior to your exam at the hospital or 30 minutes prior to your exam at a community location.
Talk with your radiology care team before your exam if you:
  • Are nursing or may be pregnant
  • Have diabetes
  • Have experienced claustrophobia or anxiety when confined to small spaces
  • Have had a PET/CT on the same part of your body before (We can compare old images to new ones.)
During the exam
  • About an hour before your exam, you will receive the tracer by an injection through an IV.
  • You may need to change into a gown.
  • You will lie on a table. The table will slide into a doughnut-shaped hole in the scanner.
  • You will be asked to remain still.
During the exam, you will be able to speak with your care team. Your exam may take from 25 to 45 minutes.

Please allow about two hours for your visit.

After the exam
You may be asked to stay in the exam area while we review your images. You may return to normal activities and medicines after your exam, unless you receive different instructions.

Drink plenty of fluids to help the tracer pass through your system.

Your results
Our radiologist will review your exam and report the results to your doctor within 24 to 48 hours. Your doctor will contact you with the results.

If you need a copy of your report or images, contact the Radiology Imaging Center at 913-588-6812.