After a finger-stick to obtain your blood glucose level, a small intravenous catheter will be inserted into a vein in your arm. You will then rest comfortably in a quiet room while the radioactive tracer is injected. The tracer, fluorine 18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), is a radioactive sugar that is used by your cells as fuel. The FDG is allowed to circulate throughout your body during a 45-minute uptake period. The small amounts of tracer that are used do not have any side effects.
You will then be placed on a table in the PET/CT scanner, where you will rest comfortably for the remainder of the study. Detectors are then used to locate areas of increased accumulation of the tracer compared to normal tissues. The scanner makes very little noise. Depending on the particular type of exam, you may be required to place your arms above your head during the imaging process. Scan time varies depending upon your doctor’s request; the average scan time is 45 minutes.
For your safety and the protection of others, we do not allow anyone other than patients in our exam rooms.