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General Information About PET

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine imaging technique which produces a three-dimensional picture of functional processes in the body. This is different from other traditional imaging techniques such as CT and MRI, which primarily evaluate the structure of the body.

The physicians and staff of St. Paul Radiology are pleased to provide you with answers to questions you may have about your upcoming exam. This information will help ensure a positive experience when you have a PET scan.

For your comfort, please be sure to:

  • Tell your physician if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, if you are a nursing mother or are claustrophobic.
  • Wear comfortable clothing (sweat suit or running suit) and remove all jewelry.
  • Wear your hearing aid, glasses or dentures to the imaging center. You will be given a secure place to store these items during your exam.
  • Take any prescribed medications on the day of your test unless instructed not to do so.
  • Do not perform any strenuous physical activity 24 hours prior to this procedure.
  • If you are insulin dependent, bring your insulin with you to the exam.
  • Bring all previous film studies not done at St. Paul Radiology (for example-X-Rays, CT, Ultrasound and MRI) relating to your illness.
  • The radiologist will use this information in correlation with your PET scan.
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You deserve less. 33.8% less radiation dose.

Recently we introduced Intego, an innovative new PET infusion system that reduces radiation dose by determining FDG amounts by patient weight. Our initial forecast was cautiously optimistic ─ 22.4% less radiation dose per patient. Now the results of our studies are in and Intego actually reduces radiation dose by up to 33.8%! It’s great news for patients ─ far less radiation dose with the same excellent care and image quality.

Imagine smarter, safer, simpler PET™:

  • Automate Infusion
  • Standardize Protocols
  • Personalize Doses
  • Reduce Exposure

Available only at St. Paul Radiology.

For more information on Intego, click here or call 651.632.5700.

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Download Procedure Preparation Information

Questions About PET

Question: What is a PET screening?

Answer: Your physician has ordered a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) screening that will provide important information about many conditions affecting the heart, brain or other organs. This will help your physician plan the appropriate treatment for you. PET images are different than those from conventional imaging, such as X-Rays, CT, Ultrasound or MRI, because they contain information about tissue function.

Question: How should I prepare for my PET screening?

Answer: Do not perform strenuous activity 24 hours prior to this procedure. This includes but is not limited to: running, physical fitness, heavy lifting and repetitive motion. If your occupation requires a high level of activity, you may need to take off the day prior to your screening.

Question: Can I eat or drink before my screening?

Answer: For a 24 hour period prior to your PET screening, please drink extra fluids. If you are diabetic, follow your normal diet and take your medications as scheduled. During the 4 hours prior to your screening, please drink 2 glasses of water. Do not eat or drink anything else during this period.

Question: How much time should I allow?

Answer: Plan to spend approximately 2 1/2 hours at the imaging center.

Question: How does the procedure work?

Answer: You will receive an injection of a radioisotope solution into a vein in your arm. You may also be asked to drink CT contrast. After the injection, you will rest in a comfortable position and wait approximately 60 minutes for the solution to be thoroughly distributed throughout your body. You will be taken to the restroom and asked to empty your bladder prior to the imaging procedure. During the exam you will lie on your back on the scanning table and every effort will be made to ensure that you are comfortable. The screening takes approximately 1 hour to perform.

Question: How will I receive my PET screening results?

Answer: A Board Certified Radiologist (a physician who specializes in interpreting diagnostic images) will study the images from your examination and send a report to your physician.

Question: How will I feel after the screening?

Answer: After the procedure you may resume normal activities. There are no side effects from the radioisotope solution. You will be able to drive immediately.