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PET/CT combines the functional information (how your body’s systems are functioning) from a PET scan with the anatomical information (what your body’s organs look like) from a CT scan into 1 exam. These can be used to view any metabolic changes in your body that may be taking place before any physical changes happen. PET/CT can help your provider make an early cancer diagnosis and then choose a course of treatment. You will receive an injection of a small amount of radioactive material in a vein in your arm prior to the test to help evaluate the body’s functions better.


Do not eat or drink anything except water for 4 hours before your exam if you are diabetic and for 6 hours before your exam if you are not diabetic. The meal prior to your exam should be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Drink 32 oz. of water 1-2 hours before your exam. You can take your morning medications with water and a few soda crackers if needed. Do not use nicotine or chew gum the day of your test. Avoid strenuous activity for 23 hours before your exam. Try not to wear any clothing with metal on it when you arrive for your exam.

Important things to tell your technologist:

  • If you are pregnant
  • Any previous exams of the area being tested
  • Any previous surgeries of the area being tested
  • If you are diabetic
  • Symptoms you are having
  • Any allergies you may have

Some specific reasons this test may be used:

  • To determine the presence or spread of cancer

Note: The imaging staff is trained to acquire images for a radiologist to review. The radiologist is specially trained to look at x-ray studies and make a diagnosis off of them. The imaging staff is not fully trained to do so, therefore we will not be able to give you results at the time of your exam.

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