Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
Why It Is Done
- Study the brain's blood flow and Reference metabolic Opens New Window activity. A PET scan can help a doctor find nervous system problems, such as Reference Alzheimer's disease Opens New Window, Reference Parkinson's disease Opens New Window, Reference multiple sclerosis Opens New Window, Reference transient ischemic attack (TIA) Opens New Window, Reference amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Opens New Window, Reference Huntington's disease Opens New Window, Reference stroke Opens New Window, and Reference schizophrenia Opens New Window.
- Find changes in the brain that may cause Reference epilepsy Opens New Window.
- Evaluate some cancers, especially Reference lymphoma Opens New Window or cancers of the head and neck, brain, lung, colon, or prostate. In its early stages, cancer may show up more clearly on a PET scan than on a CT scan or an MRI.
- See how advanced a cancer is and whether it has spread to another area of the body (metastasized). It is often necessary to do both CT and PET scans to evaluate cancer.
- Help a doctor choose the best treatment for cancer or to see how well treatment is working. PET scans may also be done to see whether surgery can be done to remove a tumor.
- Find poor blood flow to the heart, which may mean Reference coronary artery disease Opens New Window.
- Find damaged heart tissue, especially after a Reference heart attack Opens New Window.
- Help choose the best treatment, such as Reference coronary artery bypass graft surgery Opens New Window, for a person with heart disease.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference July 28, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Howard Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology