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Before a PET scan is carried out, a radioactive medicine is produced in a machine known as a cyclotron. The medication is then ‘tagged’ to a natural chemical akin to glucose, water, or ammonia. This makes what known as a radio-tracer. Once the radio-tracer is inside the physique, it goes to parts of the physique that use the chemical it has been tagged to. For example, a radioactive drug referred to as fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) is usually used as a radio-tracer. It is a radioactive form of glucose. When inside the physique it goes to the tissues that use glucose for power.
When you’re prepared on your scan, you can be taken to the scanning room. A PET scanner is a big machine with a round, doughnut-shaped gap in the center, much like a CT or MRI unit. Within this machine are multiple rings of detectors that file the emission of vitality from the radio-tracer. If your PET-CT is for radiation treatment planning, you would possibly wear a mask or solid during the scan. These assist preserve your body in the identical position as for therapy. It could provide a more full picture of a tumour’s location, development or spread than either test alone.
One of the main differences between PET scans and different imaging assessments like CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is that the PET scan reveals the mobile level metabolic adjustments occurring in an organ or tissue. This is vital and unique as a result of illness processes usually start with purposeful adjustments at the cellular degree. A PET scan can often detect these very early modifications whereas a CT or MRI detect adjustments a little later because the disease begins to trigger modifications in the structure of organs or tissues.