Diagnosis is at the crux of treating patients. Recent technological advancements have enhanced diagnostic procedures and assisted doctors in treating patients.
PET scan is one of the most vital and critical diagnostic procedures and an imaging test that helps healthcare professionals to get a better view of their patient’s health. Sometimes imaging tests don’t reveal the underlying condition and details about the way tissues and organs of the patients are performing. Let us find out what value PET scan can add to the diagnostic procedure.
What is PET Scan?
Positron emission tomography (PET) scan helps to distinctly show how your tissues and organs are functioning by using a radioactive drug.
The technique employs radioactive traces to inject into body organ or tissue, which is to be examined.
How Does The Tracer Work?
The radioactive tracer gets collected/absorbed in body areas having comparatively higher levels of chemical activity often implying that it might be an area with a disease. On the PET scan these areas are visible as bright spots.
When radioactive tracers are ingested and later absorbed by body tissue, the scan will reveal the areas where there is more absorption indicating a disease.
PET scan reveals how oxygen and blood flows in the entire body and how sugar is getting processes. It also shows cancerous tissues, which a CT scan cannot reveal.
Why Prefer a PET Scan?
PET scan examines the chemical activity in our body and has the capacity to detect various health conditions like cancer, brain disorders and many more. PET scan is a superior method to uncover health conditions that sometimes fail to be revealed by other scans like MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT (computerized tomography).
Doctors can arrive at a diagnosis of the health condition after studying the PET scan. They can plan the future course of treatment, observing the development of the existing condition and how the patient is responding to the treatment.
Infact it leads to an early diagnosis of a disease, so the treatment can be started immediately. A delay in treatment can deteriorate the health condition of patients. Thus, an early diagnosis is instrumental in effectively treating a patient.
PET Scan is especially effective in the treatment of the following health conditions :
Cancer cells have a high chemical activity, so these cancer cells get revealed in the form of bright spots in a PET scan.
How Can PET Scan Help in Cancer Treatment?
- It helps in detecting cancer.
- Keeps a check on how cancer is spreading in the body.
- Reveals the effectiveness of the cancer treatment.
- Infact it can even detect a cancer recurrence.
PET scan is an extremely useful tool for oncology. It can distinguish between a malignant and benign cancer, which isn’t possible in CT or MRI.
PET covers the physiologic or biochemical aspects while CT and MRI cover anatomic details. Thus, PET is more useful in oncology.
PET scan tracers are attached to glucose, which fuels our brain. PET scan helps in detecting radioactive glucose so the PET scan can detect areas of the brain that utilize glucose at the highest rates.
How Can PET Scan Help in Treating Brain Disorders?
- It is used to diagnose and manage numerous Central Nervous System disorders.
- A brain PET scan helps the doctor to monitor brain function.
- It allows doctors to also monitor the disease processes and the way a patient responds to treatment.
- PET helps in treating conditions affecting memory, movement and brain functions like Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
PET scan for cardiology gives an idea about the decreased areas of blood flow in the heart.
How Can PET Scan Help in Treating Heart Problems?
- The scan is used to arrive at the steps for treatment.
- Decide on the surgeries that are needed to repair the clogged arteries.
- It is also used to examine the functioning of the organs after a heart attack.
Combining PET scan and CT scan can help doctors to arrive at a better diagnosis and assessment of the health condition.
- Diagnostic Clarity:
PET scan and CT scan should be combined for better treatment. Together they let doctors to be precise in their diagnosis and what may be contributing to the health condition.
- Painless Procedure:
It is a painless way to measure both metabolic function and anatomy of the patient’s body since these images are captured in a single scan.
- Easy and Noninvasive:
The examination is non-invasive barring the initial injection of the radioactive material. It needs no recovery or downtime. Patients can resume their normal activity after the PET/CT scan.