PET Scan, also known as tomoscintigraphy (Positron Emission Tomography) is an isotopic examination. It consists in injecting a slightly radioactive product (isotope) into the body, which will attach itself to tumours and/or metastases. The most common isotope used in a PET scan is FDG, a type of fluorinated sugar with a shelf life of no more than 2 hours.
The Pet scan is an imaging examination that allows you to visualize the functioning of the organs in 3D. It is increasingly used for cancer diagnosis.
The PET Scan is used to diagnose various diseases, heart and brain problems and in particular the evolution of cancers (extension check-up, recurrence…).
The PET Scan is used to detect a cancerous tumour and/or metastases and to monitor their progress. A cancerous tumor is not an inert mass. It is a cluster of cells that divide quickly and uncontrolled and consume a lot of energy. A tumor or metastasis is therefore a zone of high metabolic activity. The PET Scan can be used to identify them. Cancer cells absorb more radioactive material and appear brighter in the images.
Duration of hospital stay
The patient will be able to leave the hospital after the examination.
Average length of stay
1 to 2 days.
Patients can leave after the procedure.
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It is recommended to fast 4 to 6 hours before the examination. The doctor first injects a radioactive product into a vein in the arm. Several products can be used (technetium, radioactive iodine, strontium, etc.). The product can also be administered through the mouth or inhaled depending on the organ to be examined. The isotope will attach itself to the active masses.
The patient is then asked not to move, while the product is spreading in the body. The patient must then lie down on the examination table, which enters the scanner (a large cylindrical device). It contains sensors sensitive to radioactive radiation and takes 3-dimensional images in different planes of space, moving around the patient.
The examination can last from 1 to 2 hours depending on the number of shots to be taken. It is asked to remain perfectly still and without speaking.
After the examination, you will be advised to drink plenty of water to make it easier to remove the product. Radioactive material is evacuated from the body through the stool or urine in a natural way. However, the doses used are low and do not represent a health risk.
Avoid contact with young babies and pregnant women for a few hours after the procedure as the body will be slightly radioactive until the product is eliminated.
The PET Scan is formally contraindicated in case of pregnancy or breastfeeding.
The radiologist will analyze the images obtained. In some patients, they can be compared to CT or MRI images to facilitate diagnosis.
• Allergic reactions to the product
• Exposure to low doses of radiation
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