PET/CT is a hybrid imaging procedure combining positron emission tomography (PET) and computer tomography (CT). The F-18 FDG PET/CT examination is performed using glucose molecule (FDG) comprising radioactive fluorine (F-18), a diagnostic positron emitter. An F-18 FDG PET/CT examination is based on increased metabolism using glucose, and therefore higher accumulation of F-18 FDG by malignant tumors as compared to the normal tissue. For patients with neuroendocrine tumors, it plays an important role in assessing prognosis. This examination is performed, in particular, if the tumor has a low degree of differentiation or a high proliferation rate.
What should be considered before a PET/CT examination is performed?
First of all, it is important that your attending physician completes the registration form for PET/CT examinations (Download form) and returns it to us.
How does a PET/CT examination work?
The radiopharmaceutical is injected via an intravenous access. After the injection of F-18 FDG, there is an approx. 60-minute waiting period before the examination starts. During the first 20 minutes, it is important to lie down relaxed and not speak; otherwise muscular activity may lead to an unwanted accumulation in the muscles and/or vocal cords, and possibly falsify the examination result. After the 20 minutes rest, you can leave the resting area and will be given an oral contrast medium to drink so that the bowel can be demarcated. The actual PET/CT examination lasts about 20 minutes in total, whereby first, the radioactivity is measured using PET, followed by the CT examination with possible administration of contrast medium via the vein.
What should I pay attention to as a patient?
You must be fasting for the F-18 FDG PET/CT examination. If you are a non-insulin-dependent diabetic, please take full dose of the diabetes medication on the morning of PET/CT examination and do not stop taking metformin. If you are an insulin-dependent diabetic, please eat a high-protein and low-carbohydrate meal the evening before, inject full dose of insulin at 6.30 am on the morning of PET/CT examination and eat half a slice of bread with butter. Please also bring your insulin with you to the examination. Also bring (if not submitted in advance) all reports (histology, surgery report, doctor's letters, tumor markers etc.) and if applicable, the CT/MRI images (on a CD). Please inform us if you have a thyroid disease, kidney disease or an allergy to contrast media.
Registration form for F-18 FDG PET/CT examination: Download (pdf)