PET/CT Exams

Why Use PET/CT?

PET/CT can detect cancers in their earliest stages. PET/CT images the metabolic activity or function of the body’s tissues, often identifying cancerous sites before they can be detected by conventional anatomic techniques such as CT or MR. PET/CT is a powerful tool in the assessment of non-specific findings detected on x-ray, CT or MRI. PET/CT is able to more accurately characterize findings, leading to more appropriate management. Consequently, unnecessary procedures or tests that present risk and cost to the patient can be reliably avoided in many instances. PET/CT also aids in surgical planning and radiation therapy planning, leading to more focused interventions at lower risk and cost to the patient while providing a higher likelihood of success. 



Ga-68 (Neuroendocrine, Carcinoid tumors) Scan time 20-30 min (anticipate to be at the facility for 1hr 45 min) 

Patient Prep: Prior to appointment: a. Advise patients to drink enough water to ensure adequate hydration. There is no need for fasting before the injection. There is no need to restrict physical activity prior to the gallium-68 DOTATATE PET/CT. 


PET/CT Prostate (Axumin) 

F-18 fluciclovine Scan time 20-30 min (anticipate to be at the facility for 1hr) 

PET/CT imaging of the prostate is performed on men with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer. 

These are patients with a prior history of treatment for prostate cancer and now have recurrence with rising PSA levels (2 most recent). Imaging will be performed utilizing F-18 fluciclovine, known as Axumin. Axumin targets the increased amino acid transport which occurs in many prostate cancers. 

Patient Prep: Do not eat or drink anything for 4 hours prior to the exam. If necessary, medications can be taken with a small amount of water within that 4 hours. 

F-18 Sodium Fluoride Bone PET/CT Scan (Scan time 30-40 min (anticipate to be at the facility for 90 min) 

Patient Prep: There is no special preparation required prior to having an F-18 sodium fluoride bone PET/CT scan. You may continue to eat normally and drink plenty of liquids prior to and after the scan. If you are on any medications, you may continue to take them. 

F-18 FDG (Flourodeoxy glucose) Whole Body/Base of Skull to Mid-Thigh/Brain scan 


Body Scan /Brain with FDG – PET/CT 

If you are having a FDG scan, you must not eat or drink6-8 hours before your exam. (WATER ONLY) Note: NO FLAVORED WATER 

Exam time: approximately 2 hours. FDG PET is used for tumor detection and to diagnose brain disorders or infections. 

FDG PET scans require careful preparation, so please follow instructions carefully. 


Before Your Study

*Diabetics should discuss the preparation with their physician before making any alteration to their diet. 

48 hours before your appointment:

  • Do not do any strenuous exercise or deep-tissue massage. 

24 hours before your appointment:

  • Stay on a VERY LOW-carbohydrate, NO-sugar diet. Please see Low-Carbohydrate Diet Guidelines below. 
  • Do NOT use chewing gum or mints. 
  • 6-8 hours before your appointment 
  • Do NOT eat anything; drink only water. 
  • Drinking water is encouraged to ensure hydration for best test results. 
  • Continue to take medications as prescribed (if Empty Stomach can tolerate Meds) 
  • If you are diabetic, please consult your doctor for questions regarding diet and medication. Carefully monitor and control your blood sugar the 48 hours before the scan. 
  • Low-Carbohydrate Diet Guidelines 

Foods allowed:

  • All meats and poultry 
  • Hard cheeses 
  • Nonstarchy vegetables, such as: broccoli, spinach, green beans. 
  • Nuts and unsweetened peanut butter 
  • Diet soda and zero-calorie drinks. (Be careful to avoid caffeinated and decaffeinated drinks. Decaffeinated drinks still contain small amounts of caffeine.) 
  • Tofu 
  • Eggs 
  • Oil, margarine, butter