An FDG PET scan is a nuclear medicine exam that can be used to study almost any organ. It uses the tracer FDG, a radioactive derivative of sugar that is consumed by tumor cells in unusually high amounts.

What happens during a PETscan?

What is a PET scan?

PET stands for Positron Emission Tomography.

The scanning system combines a positron detector which depicts the spatial distribution of the injected tracer (FDG) throughout the body, and a traditional CT scanner offering a detailed anatomic view of the organs and tissues. The two types of images are then fused to form a single 3D image.

What is the purpose of a PET scan?

PET scans can detect tumors, inflammation and infectious lesions throughout the body. They can be performed in the intial phase of an illness to determine its stage, or when a recurrence is suspected.

Another important role of the PET scan is to monitor a patient’s response to treatments (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and so on) over time.

What happens during a PETcan?

  • 1

    First the doctor will see you.

  • 2

    Next, a technologist will administer the FDG tracer through an intravenous injection.

  • 3

    To give the tracer time to spread to the body parts being scanned, you will be taken to a room to rest for one hour.

  • 4

    You will be positioned on the PET scanning bed. The exam lasts 10 to 15 minutes.

    Plan on spending a total of approximately two hours in the department.

Quels sont les risques liés à l'examen ?

PET scans are completely free of risk.

They cause no side effects or allergies and do not require an iodine injection.

There are no absolute contraindications. Even pregnant women can undergo the exam under certain circumstances.

  • 16

    This is the maximum duration, in minutes, of an FDG PET scan exam.

How to prepare for a PETscan?

It is important to be as relaxed as possible. The exam is completely painless.

You must fast for six hours before the injection, but still water is permitted.

Even the slightest intake of sugar, which would considerably diminish the exam’s accuracy, would make it necessary to be reschedule the exam.

American Hospital of Paris