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What Is PET-CT Scan? How PET-CT Works

How PET-CT Works

PET-CT scanning involves positron emission tomography (PET scanning), and computed tomography (CT) combined into one machine. 

Glucose is an essential molecule for almost all cells. Interestingly cancer cells have a much faster uptake of glucose in comparison with healthy cells. After injecting radioactive glucose, it accumulates mainly in cancerous areas which can be detected by a PET-CT.

Before the exam, the patient fasts for at least 6 hours. The whole procedure can last up to 2 hours.

A PET-CT scan shows information about the form and size of tumors as wells as the activity. 


1. Delbeke D, et al. PET and PET/CT for pancreatic malignancies. Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2010 Apr;19(2):235-54.
2. PET-CT Scan. http://www.cancercenter.com/treatments/pet-ct-scan/. Accessed 7/26/16.
3. Http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/586604_2. Accessed 8/21/16.


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