At South Baldwin Regional Medical Center, we offer PET/CT scans on our Discovery ST scanner from GE Medical Systems. Discovery ST, a two-in-one medical imaging technology, helps your physician quickly determine whether you have cancer, if it's spreading, whether your treatment is working or if there's recurrence.
In one exam, this system generates two essential types of medical images - PET and CT - then merges both into a single information-packed image. Discovery ST helps your physician understand the exact location and extent of your cancer, to develop a targeted and effective treatment plan.
What is PET/CT?
PET/CT combines the functional information from a positron emission tomography (PET) exam with the anatomical information from a computed tomography (CT) exam into one single exam.
A PET scan detects changes in cellular function – how your cells are utilizing nutrients like sugar and oxygen. Since these functional changes take place before physical symptoms occur, PET scans can provide information that enables your physician to make an early and more accurate diagnosis.
A CT scan uses a combination of x-rays and computers to give the radiologist a non-invasive way to see inside your body. One advantage of CT is its ability to rapidly acquire 2-D pictures of your anatomy. Using a computer, these 2-D images can be presented in 3-D for in-depth clinical evaluation.
The PET exam pinpoints metabolic activity in cells and the CT exam provides an anatomical reference. When these two scans are integrated, your physician can view metabolic changes in the proper anatomical context of your body.