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Dec, 07.
2010

What is PET/CT?

HELIOS Hospital Group

PET stands for positron emission tomography and it is an imaging technique. PET involves injecting a small amount of a radioactively-marked substance – usually sugar – into the vein. Since malignant tumours use up much more sugar than normal body tissues in most cases, they can often be located with exactitude in PET images. Offspring tumours (metastases) are also visible. A reduction in sugar uptake is often the first sign of therapeutic success. Therefore PET can be used accordingly for therapy monitoring or for detecting relapse (tumour recurrence). In addition, neurological and cardiologic problem areas can also be clarified. In order to define the exact position of the tumour good anatomic information is essential. In computed tomography (CT) organ borders can be precisely distinguished from one another. In PET/CT the patient undergoes two important examinations in a single process. The PET images of metabolic activity and the anatomic CT information are perfectly superimposable and can be precisely assigned to one another. This shortens the examination duration for the patient and cost-efficiently makes it possible to avoid further examinations and unnecessary therapeutic approaches.

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