PET-CT scans

Combined CT and PET scan

An advanced nuclear imaging method that gives a detailed picture of your cells and the body's internal structures


PET-CT scans combine PET (positron emission tomography) and CT (computised tomography) technology in one full body scanner. This advanced nuclear imaging technique shows how the cells in the body are functioning at the same time as generating 2D and 3D images of inside the body. PET-CT scans can be used to diagnose and monitor cancer, to see if cancer has spread to other parts of the body, and to assess response to treatment. They are increasingly used to diagnose inflammatory conditions and heart conditions. For the PET part of the scan, you'll be given an injection of a substance called a radioactive tracer. As this is absorbed by the body, any cancerous or inflammatory cells will show up on the scan as hot spots. The CT scan produces 2D X-ray images of your body as it moves through the scanner. These can be layered to create 3D images for your consultant to analyse. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. These will be explained to you, and your consultant can answer any questions you have.
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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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