Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a type of nuclear imaging using small amounts of radioisotopes for characterization of a variety of conditions and disease. PET is commonly used to determine the extent or stage of cancer and to determine the response to cancer treatment. It is also used for cardiac or heart imaging and for evaluation of the some brain diseases. When the PET scanner is physically joined with a CT scanner for better image quality this is known as a PET/CT.
PET/CT is performed as an outpatient procedure and requires the intravenous injection of a small amount of radioactive material. After a small amount of time, patients are scanned and both the PET and CT data is obtained. As with many imagng studies, it is important for good imaging that the patient remain still during the scan.