Positron emission tomography (PET) is a test that uses a special type of camera and a tracer (radioactive substance) to look at organs in the body.
During a PET scan, the tracer is typically injected into a vein (usually in the arm), but sometimes it may be inhaled. The tracer usually is a special form of a substance (such as glucose) that can be used (metabolized) by cells in the body.
A PET scan is often used to evaluate cancer, such as of the lung or colon. It also can be used to evaluate the heart's metabolism and blood flow and examine brain function.
PET scan pictures do not show as much detail as computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Howard Schaff MD - Diagnostic Radiology
PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization.