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Positron Emission Tomography (PET) | Computed Tomography (CT)

For Appointments, Call 866.596.8456

For Copies of Images or Radiologist Reports, Call 845.368.5000 (ext. 6120).

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) | Computed Tomography (CT)

What is a PET/CT Scan?

A PET/CT scan combines Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computed Tomography (CT) images. PET images show the function of cells in the body. CT images show body anatomy such as vessels, lymph nodes and organs. Combining PET and CT images helps doctors diagnose, monitor, and determine treatment.

Why is a PET scan performed?

Your doctor may order a PET scan to inspect your blood flow, your oxygen intake, or the metabolism of your organs and tissues. PET scans show problems at the cellular level, giving your doctor the best view of complex systemic diseases. PET scans are most commonly used to detect:

  • Cancer
  • Heart problems
  • Brain disorders, including problems with the central nervous system (CNS)

PET/CT scans can help your doctor determine the best next steps in your treatment plan.

Benefits of PET/CT for Cancer Patients Specifically

PET/CT can help doctors accurately diagnose, stage and treat cancer. PET/CT can help determine:

  • Size and location of the growth
  • Whether the cancer is spreading
  • The best form of treatment
  • Whether therapy is working
  • Whether there has been a recurrence

What to Expect

Preparing for Your PET/CT Exam

Prepare for your exam by following the guidelines* below.

  • Contact the scheduling department if you have any questions prior to your appointment.
  • Do not eat or drink anything except plain water for six hours before your exam.
    • This includes: gum, candy, mints or cough drops
  • Take your medication as directed by your doctor.
  • Avoid rigorous activity for 24 hours before your exam.
  • Dress warmly and comfortably.
  • If you are diabetic, eat a small meal four hours before your exam and take your insulin or oral diabetic medication, if necessary. Ensure that your glucose levels are within normal limits, or the exam will need to be rescheduled.

*The instructions provided  are general guidelines and may vary depending on exam type.  Specific preparation instructions will be provided prior to your exam.

What to Expect During Your Exam

In preparation for the exam, you will receive a small injection of radioactive tracer. You will rest comfortably for 45 minutes while the radioactive tracer moves through your body. Then the technologist will bring you to the scanner. You may be asked to hold your breath for several seconds during the exam. Try to remain still while the scan is in process. The length of your appointment depends upon the body area being scanned.

The radiologist will review your scans and send the results to your doctor.

After the Exam

After your scan, you may resume your normal activity level. The injected radioactive tracer quickly leaves your body. To expedite this process, drink plenty of water.

Consult your doctor prior to your PET/CT Scan If:

  • You are or may be pregnant
  • You are allergic to any drugs or foods
  • You are currently being treated for an infection
  • You are unsure if you should take your medications

Contact Us

For Appointments, Call 866.596.8456.

For Copies of Images or Radiologist Reports, Call 845.368.5000 (ext.) 6120.


257 Lafayette Avenue
Suffern, NY 10901