Emission Tomography (PET Imaging)
Imaging (Radiology) Procedures
What is the test?
Positron emission tomography (PET Imaging)
is a diagnostic test that captures detailed images of the body’s cells at work,
from the emission of positrons. Positrons are tiny particles emitted from a
radioactive substance administered prior to the PET scan. This technology
provides metabolic information and enables physicians to detect and analyze how
the tissue cells are functioning. PET scans can be performed on the whole body
and are used to evaluate a variety of diseases. This scans are usually
performed on an outpatient basis.
How do I prepare?
You should avoid vigorous exercise for 24
hours prior to the exam. You may drink water but do not eat anything for 4 hours
before your PET scan. Please plan to arrive at the Imaging Services Department
15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting
clothes. Your doctor will instruct you regarding the use of medications before
If you have diabetes, ask your doctor for
specific guidelines to control glucose levels during the day of the test.
What can I expect during the
A nurse or technologist will accompany you
to a room where a radioactive substance will be administered to you as an
intravenous injection. It will take about 45 to 60 minutes for this substance
to travel through your body and accumulate in the tissues to be imaged. During
this time you must rest quietly and avoid significant movement or talking,
which may alter the localization of the contrast.
When sufficient time has passed, you will
be taken into the PET scanning room. The PET scanner has a hole in the middle
like a large donut. You will be made as comfortable as possible before imaging
begins. Scanning time is typically 45 to 60 minutes. While you are lying
quietly, the bed will move into the scanner, capturing electronic signals that
will be converted to images by a computer. Some people grow uncomfortable
holding still for this period of time, however, movement compromises the
quality of the study.
After the test?
Usually there are no restrictions following
a PET scan. You should drink plenty of caffeine-free fluids to flush the
radioactive substance from your body. We also encourage you to flush the toilet
twice after use to be certain that any radioactive substance is discarded.
How and when will I get my test
Typically, within 48 hours a written report
of your test results will be sent to your referring physician, who will review
them with you. Additional time (3 to 5 days) may be required if we are
comparing these test results to previous findings from another hospital or
Where is the test performed?
PET imaging is available at Cayuga Medical
Center at 101 Dates Drive, off NYS Route 96 in Ithaca.
About our Imaging Services
Cayuga Medical Center has a commitment to
and reputation for staying abreast of changing technology and our imaging
equipment is state-of-the-art. Our range of services is comprehensive and we
offer all imaging modalities found in major medical centers. Radiologists are
on site at all three of our locations, which also distinguishes the level of
service we provide.
Imaging Services is staffed by six-board
certified radiologists, many of whom are subspecialists in areas such as
neuroradiology, abdominal CT, and interventional procedures. Assisting them are
experienced radiologic technologists, many of whom have completed advanced
training and are certified in specialty modalities.