PET/CT combines the functional information from PET (positron emission tomography) with the anatomical information from CT (computed tomography) into a single imaging technology. PET assesses changes in the function, circulation and metabolism of body organs and measures chemical changes that occur before visible signs of disease are present. CT is a special type of cross-sectional imaging, which simulates "slices" through any part of the body. This advanced imaging provides more comprehensive diagnostic information enabling our staff to begin recommended treatment sooner.
PET/CT is available at UMass Memorial Medical Center and HealthAlliance Hospital. CT scanning is available at all UMass Memorial hospitals.
A PET/CT scan is clinically useful for diagnosis and aids in management of many illnesses and conditions, including:
- Alzheimer's disease and dementia
- Brain tumors
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal and thyroid cancers
- Head and neck cancer
- Lung, breast, cervical and ovarian cancers
Benefits of a PET/CT include:
- It is regarded as the most powerful tool to accurately image and detect cancer at its earliest state.
- It allows for a noninvasive diagnosis of certain neurological disorders.
- It may prevent patients from needing more invasive exams and exploratory surgery.
- It helps the physician predict the likely outcome of various therapies.
- It can help guide physicians in choosing the best treatment options (medical, surgical, radiation, etc.).
- It monitors progress, indicating when a treatment response is not as expected.