PET-CT is an integrated imaging equipment. It combines two types of scanning:
- PET (Positron Emission Tomography) used to obtain functional data related to metabolism and cellular functions;
- CT (Computed Tomography) used to obtain morphological data related to the location and anatomical ratios of the assessed pathological substrates.
PET-CT type scanning is used to diagnose, locate, identify the stage in which the tumor is located, and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment in oncological conditions. PET-CT equipment is mainly used in oncology and cardiology.
Advantages of PET-CT
- High-resolution medical imaging that allows a perfect view of diseased tissues;
- Shortens the duration of the exam;
- Allows early diagnosis of cancer before other means of investigation;
- Allows early diagnosis of recurrences and metastasis, including those that are hard to detect by other diagnostic procedures.
The importance of PET-CT
- The PET-CT examination enables early diagnosis and accurate identification of cancer, as well as its extension (metastasis). During and after treatment, PET-CT can assess whether therapy has been successful, showing a decrease in glucose use by the tumor.
- PET-CT can also be used for restradiation in case of cancer recurrence by early detection and localization. It is useful in evaluating patients who have undergone surgical interventions or radiotherapy courses that have led to scar formation and distortion of anatomical structures.
In conclusion, PET-CT provides the doctor with information on tumor location and extension, thus giving you the best treatment plan.
How is the PET-CT image formed?
For the PET examination, a radiolabelled glucose molecule with fluorine (18F) -18F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose – abbreviated FDG is used to visualize metabolic activity of the tissues and reveals functional changes occurring cases before structural anatomical changes occur.
The PET device detects very small amounts of radiation that it converts into body images. There is no alternative method of PET examination that can provide the same information. A small amount of FDG is injected through an intravenous catheter. This compound is not toxic, has been approved for certain medical procedures and no adverse effects have been reported.
Afterwards, to ensure the effectiveness of your examination, you need to sit on a couch, quietly, without talking or moving, alone in the lock (unaccompanied), during the waiting period (60 minutes) until you are driven in the examination room.
The PET-CT investigation lasts an average of 2 hours, of which scanning (the time you stay in the device) will be approximately 30-40 minutes.
PET-CT and Oncology
PET scanning proves cost-effectiveness in oncology because it can:
- Eliminate invasive procedures, such as biopsy, by confirming or refraining from cancer;
- To eliminate some unnecessary surgical procedures, allowing tissue characterization and tumor localization;
- Locate, by scanning the entire body, metastases unknown prior to this investigation, helping to determine the patient’s condition whenever needed;
- Eliminate many tests because the sensitivity and specificity of PET are much higher in PET than in any other diagnostic way;
- Improve the effectiveness of therapy early on through early approach, due to the detection of functional changes before the anatomical ones.
- Currently, in many countries with high medical standards, PET has become a basic element in oncology, diagnosis becoming faster and more efficient, saving money, time and, most importantly, LIVE.
Scintigraphy is a modern imaging technique used in nuclear medicine to diagnose numerous diseases by introducing into the body a radioactive substance called a tracer that has affinity for certain organs and detecting radiation emitted to the outside of the body by a special device called GAMMA CAMERA . By processing raw images using special programs, three-dimensional images can be reproduced.
Scintigraphy is a painless method that can diagnose a multitude of structural or pathological conditions where ultrasound, conventional radiography, computer tomography, or MRI does not provide sufficient information.
Cardiac, brain, lung, bone, and kidney scintigraphic investigations with DTPA are the most widespread diagnostic procedures of nuclear medicine.
The patient will be given intravenously, the radiotracer substance. Radiotrader will accumulate in the organ under review within a certain amount of time. The waiting time until the procedure may vary from a few minutes in the case of hepatic scintigraphy to 2-3 hours in the case of bone scintigraphy.
Investigations by scintigraphy:
- Complete bone scintigraphy;
- Localized bone scintigraphy;
- Parathyroid scintigraphy;
- Renal scintigraphy;
- Thyroid scintigraphy;
- Scintigraphy of the heart.