Positron emission tomography

Positron emission tomography, matched with computed tomography (PET-CT) is the method of choice for early and specialized diagnosis of oncological, neurological and cardiological diseases.

PET-CT combines the potentials of non-invasive detection of metabolic (in the first place, owing to PET findings) and morphological (owing to CT findings) changes. Thus, PET-CT makes an assessment of anatomic and functional disorders in human body organs/systems.

PET-CT proved itself to be a highly efficient diagnostic modality widely used the major medical clinics the world over. Nowadays, all patients from the Republic of Belarus have the opportunity, if indicated, to undergo such an examination at the National PET Centre, N. N. Alexandrov National Cancer Centre.

Preparation of patient for PET-CT

The examination is made in outpatient and inpatient settings.

Make sure that the examination is performed on an empty stomach. In the evening of the day before PET-CT, fruit, floury and sweet stuffs, sparkling water should be excluded from the last food intake.Kefir, curds and unrestricted drinking are allowed for supper.

You need to put on warm and comfortable clothes without metal parts, and to have some footwear for change.

To take PET-CT examination, the findings of diagnostic procedures over the past 3-6 months (if available) should be submitted.

  • X-ray imaging
  • Scintigraphy
  • Angiography
  • ECG (electrocardiography in heart examination)
  • Ultrasonography
  • CT (computed tomography)
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

Indications for PET-CT

  • Detection of malignant neoplasms
  • Assessment of tumor spread (staging/restaging)
  • Evaluation of the response to the treatment administered
  • Detection of recurrence (with increased levels of tumor markers in blood serum)
  • Detection of the primary tumor focus (in case if metastases already found)
  • Differential diagnosis of tumor relapse and post-therapeutic changes
  • Radiotherapy planning
  • Finding the most “aggressive” part of the tumor for biopsy planning
  • Case follow-up

Contraindications for PET-CT

  • Pregnancy (confirmed or supposed)

PET-CT limitations

  • Breast feeding should be ceased for no less than 6 hours after radiotracer introduction
  • Diabetes mellitus (in examinations using fluorodeoxyglucose; attending doctor’s counselling and preliminary correction of the blood glucose level are needed)
  • Caution is to be used in the cases of renal insufficiency as PET findings may be distorted because of radiotracer retention in the body

PET-CT examination requires intravenous introduction of a small amount of radiotracer accumulating in the body in active metabolism areas. The duration of PET-CT scanning is 30 to 40 min.

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