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Medical Imaging

PET-CT Scan

PET/CT combines nuclear imaging and CT technologies in a single procedure, offering greater depth of information that either of the two tests alone can provide. 

PET/CT scanning can assist physicians in confirming the presence of cancer at an earlier stage than previously possible, as well as provide information about the exact location and size of a cancerous tumor, resulting in a more precise treatment plan and the potential to improve outcomes for cancer patients.

PET (Positron Emission Tomography)

PET is a non-invasive imaging tool used to examine the human body and detect disease, including some cancers. The imaging tool is also helpful in distinguishing viable tissue from scar tissue for patients with heart disease, and can provide information related to brain metabolism in conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.

CT (Computed Tomography)

CT is a painless, non-invasive imaging tool that is comprised of a series of cross-sectional x-rays of the body. The series of x-rays can be examined individually or reconstructed into a three-dimensional image, allowing radiologists to view a detailed picture of an individual’s body. CT imaging is valuable in diagnosing conditions and abnormalities that may not be visible on a traditional x-ray.

Scheduling a PET/CT Exam

Contact the St. Clair Hospital PET/CT Scheduling Department at 412-942-7075.  When you call to schedule your appointment, please have your prescription and any required authorization numbers available.

How do I Prepare for the PET/CT Exam?

  • Refrain from smoking at least 24 hours prior to the exam.
  • Not participate in strenuous exercise at least 24 hours prior to the exam.
  • Not consume alcohol at least 24 hours prior to the exam.
  • Drink 1-2 quarts of water throughout the day, one day prior to the exam.
  • Not eat any solid food after midnight before the exam.
  • Wear loose fitting, non-metallic clothing.
  • Please remove any metal objects from your body prior to your PET/CT scan, including watches, body piercings, glasses and hearing aids.
  • Please leave jewelry and other valuables at home.

What Will Happen During the PET/CT Exam?

  • A special solution will be administered into your body through an intravenous injection in your arm.
  • Following the injection, you will rest quietly in a reclining chair for approximately 60 minutes.
  • After the resting period, you will be moved to the PET/CT scanner, where you will be monitored through a large window and intercom throughout the procedure.
  • It is important that you remain still during the PET/CT scan, as movement of any kind can interfere with the imaging process and cause the test to be repeated.
  • The PET/CT scan takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes, but you should plan to be at the Hospital for a total of 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

What will Happen After the PET/CT Exam?

Our staff of board-certified radiologists will review and interpret your images and a written report will be sent to your physician so that he or she can review the results with you.

Once your PET/CT scan is complete, you may resume your normal activities unless otherwise directed by your physician. However, it is important to avoid prolonged contact with infants and/or pregnant women for the eight hours immediately following your exam. In addition, you should increase your fluid intake for the remainder of the day to help flush the special intravenous solution from your body.

More Information

See our Physician Directory for more information about a doctor.