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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health P.E.T.


Positron emission tomography is a nuclear medicine imaging technique which produces three-dimensional image or picture of functional processes in the body emitted indirectly by a positron emitting radionuclide.


PET scan measures important body functions like blood flow, oxygen use, and glucose metabolism to evaluate the functioning of organs and tissues. PET is painless and non invasive.

The test takes place inside a PET scanner, which is a large machine shaped like a ring standing on edge. The person having the test lies on a bed. The bed passes slowly through the center of the ring. A small amount of liquid, known as a "tracer," is introduced into an arm vein. The person receives an injection of a drug that increases blood flow through the normal arteries. However, the blood flow will not be increased in arteries that are blocked or in tissue that is damaged. The differences in blood flow are detected by the PET scanner, which creates a picture of the blood flow to the heart tissue. 

Uses of the PET scan

  • To detect cancer
  • To determine the spread of cancer
  • To assess the effectiveness of the treatment plan like cancer therapy
  • To follow up after cancer therapy
  • To determine the blood flow to the heart muscle
  • To determine the effects of heart attack, myocardial infarction on the areas of the heart
  • To determine the areas of heart muscle that would be procedure such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery
  • To determine the brain abnormalities like tumors, memory disorders and seizures and other central nervous system disorders
  • To map the human brain and heart function.

Abnormal results means

  • Abnormal size, shape pr position of an organ
  • Abnormal heart function
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Change in organ function
  • Growths
  • Infection

Contraindications for PET scan

  • Women who are pregnant and those who are planning to become pregnant
  • Nursing mothers
  • Patient with recent stroke or heart attack
  • History of asthma or lung disease
  • Patient who are allergic to caffeine, theophylline, aminophylline.