PET/CT

Overview

Definition

Positron emission tomography (PET) scans make pictures that show activity in body tissues. Computed tomography (CT) scan uses a computer to take many x-rays of the body. A PET/CT scan is a test that combines PET and CT scans to take pictures of the body.

PET/CT scans can be done on any part of the body.

PET Scan of the Brain
PET scan head brain
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

  • Allergic reactions to the chemicals used
  • Kidney damage from the contrast chemical used
  • Long-term problems from the radiation used

SymptomsandDiagnosis

Treatments

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

RESOURCES

NIH Clinical Center https://www.cc.nih.gov 

Radiology Info—Radiological Society of North America https://www.radiologyinfo.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Association of Radiologists https://car.ca 

Canadian Radiation Protection Association http://www.crpa-acrp.ca 

References

PET/CT scan. UPMC website. Available at: http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/tests/Pages/petct-scan.aspx. Accessed March 14, 2018.

Positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT). Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=pet. Updated January 23, 2017. Accessed March 14, 2018.

Schidt GP, Kramer H, Reiser MF, Glaser C. Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging and positron-emission tomography-computed tomography in oncology. Top Magn Reson Imaging. 2007;18(3):193-202.