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Positron Emission Tomography (PET/CT)
Home > Clinical Services > Nuclear Medicine > Services and Treatments > Positron Emission Tomography (PET/CT)


Positron Emission Tomography (PET/CT)

Positron Emission Tomography (PET/CT) is a procedure that detects changes in cellular function. This can often provide information that enables your physician to make an earlier diagnosis of diseases or abnormalities. This can provide faster initiation of the best possible treatment.

Is There Any Special Preparation Needed Before the Test?

Preparation before the exam depends on the purpose of the exam. Please call the division at 718-405-8461 for information on preparation.

How is the Test Performed?

You will receive an injection into a vein in your arm which contains a very small amount of radioactive material tracer. Adverse reaction to this injection is very rare. It is carried in the blood and distributed throughout to the body.

After about one hour, you will be asked to lie still on an imaging table. Images will then be obtained by the PET/CT Scanner. This camera detects the tracer that is absorbed in your body. This usually takes between 60 and 90 minutes.

This part of the study is lengthy because pictures of your entire body are being made.

What Happens After the Test?

When the exam is completed, the nuclear medicine physician will review your images, prepare a written report and discuss the results with your doctor. Your doctor will then explain the test results to you and discuss what further procedures, if any, are needed.

What Other Information Should I Know?

  • The amount of radiation you will receive during the test is no more than what you would receive from similar x-ray procedures.
  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant, think that you are pregnant or are a nursing mother.
  • The tracer you are given remains in your body for a short time and is cleared from the body through natural bodily functions especially the urine. Drinking plenty of fluids will help eliminate the material more quickly.
  • You should be able to resume your daily activities after the test.
    Please wear loose clothing.