PET-CT Scanning

Combined Working of the PET-CT Scan

The twin techniques of PET-CT scanning are together used to understand tumours, cancers, heart disorder or other diseases so that they are detected and treated at an early stage.

The combined working of PET-CT scan gives the results that are more accurate and detailed than when the techniques are performed separately. Both help in pinpointing the location and growth of the disease.

Positron Emission Tomography or PET scan is an imaging test which is used to look for diseases inside the body with the help of radioactive substance called tracer. In order to perform the test the radiotracer is injected into a vein, it may be swallowed or inhaled as a gas. After sometime, it gets accumulated in the organ of the body which is to be examined. The patient is made to lie down on a table that slides into a tunnel shaped - hole in the center of the PET scanner. The machine then detects the energy which is released in the form of gamma rays and finally gets converted into three dimensional pictures. The images are finally captured into the computer to be examined later on.

Combined working of the PET scan and CT scan- These days the PET scan and CT scan are being combined together to get better desired results. The two when used together help in giving images that can directly tell the exact location of abnormal metabolic activities in any of the body parts. The two scans are said to be more accurate when done together.

Common procedures of the PET/CT scan- Both the tests are performed together in order to detect cancer, brain disorders, heart malfunctioning, tumours or any kind of central nervous system disorders. While the PET scan is helpful in revealing the biological functioning of the body, the CT scan tells about the anatomy of various body parts like the shape, extent of the disease and location. When these two are combined together, correct and precise information can be gathered about the disease.

Importance of combined working of PET and CT scan-In various types of cancers like breast cancer or lung cancer, cancer in the reproductive tract, the combined application of the PET/CT scan technique have produced wonderful results. The combined technique is also found to be useful in cardiological and neurological disorders as well.

Since the CT scan provides anatomical details like the size and location of the tumour and PET scan will give metabolic inputs like the cellular activity of the tumour so treatment of the disease becomes more accurate. This integrated approach enables precise detection of the tumour.

Though both of these technologies have their own benefits but when the two are combined together the results are simply outstanding since comprehensive information is now available to the physician. What is happening inside the body on the twin fronts -anatomically as well as metabolically at one and the same time as both the tests can be performed simultaneously?

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