Methodist Imaging Center - West Houston's priorities include providing the latest in diagnosis, management, treatment and prevention of disease. PET, or positron emission technology, scanning uses a radioactive tracer material to form an image of an internal organ or body area to be examined. PET/CT is a hybrid technology that merges two diagnostic studies into a single exam, allowing physicians to see tumor anatomy and function simultaneously.
The PET/CT scanner has the ability to perform respiratory gating, which enables the scanner to capture not only the area being scanned, but also the normal body movements that occur when a patient breathes. This 4-Dimensional CT scanning also helps in radiation treatment planning, as it can assist in properly targeting a tumor. The highly sensitive PET scan uses the radioactive tracer (FDG) to detect increased metabolic activity found in cancerous growth, while the CT scan uses computerized analysis of x-rays to reveal the location, size, and shape of abnormal cancerous growths. Many oncologists use FDG-PET/CT to monitor disease status and tumor response to chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment.