PET/CT is an advanced imaging study that combines two powerful imaging technologies:
When images produced by these two technologies are combined in a PET/CT study, physicians can diagnose and manage disease with greater precision and accuracy. Residents of southeastern New Jersey have access to this advanced technology through AtlantiCare’s state-of-the art 64 slice GE Discovery PET/CT 600 scanner conveniently located at the AtlantiCare Cancer Care Institute in Egg Harbor Township.
PET/CT is used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment and monitor progress. Specialties using PET/CT include:
When you schedule your appointment, make sure you say whether you are taking any medication, are diabetic, or are pregnant or nursing. You may be given additional preparation instructions beyond what you find on this site.
The day before your appointment, eat a low-carbohydrate, low-sugar diet, refrain from exercise and heavy lifting, avoid caffeine, and drink plenty of water.
The day of your appointment:
After being interviewed by a technologist, you will have a small IV line placed in your arm and your blood sugar level will also be checked. A small amount of radioactive glucose called FDG will be injected into the IV line; this is entirely painless. You will then rest in a quiet area for about 60 minutes so that the FDG can circulate to all areas of your body before the PET/CT scan is done.
You will be positioned on the scan table and moved into a large opening in the PET/CT scanner. During the scan, which lasts 20-45 minutes, you will be asked to lie still while the images are taken. The entire process is pain-free.
After the CT part of the scan captures structural images of the anatomy, PET images capture areas of increased cellular activity. Since rapidly growing cells – such as cancer cells – use glucose as their main source of energy, these cells will contain a higher concentration of the FDG injected at the beginning of your appointment. The concentrated areas show up as “hot spots” on the PET images. Combined, the CT and PET images provide your doctor with the most accurate information to manage your care.
You may resume all your normal daily activities right away without restrictions. The FDG will leave your body within a few hours. A physician will review the PET/CT images and send a report to your doctor. Your doctor will contact you to discuss the results.
To schedule a PET/CT scan, please call (609) 383-2800. If you have any questions please call (609) 677-7708.
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