PET Scans (Positive emission tomography) uses radiation to create 3-D colour images of the human body and its internal functions. PET scan machines use Positron emission to produce images in real time. This is different to the X-rays used in CT scans, though both are forms of radiation. PET relies on the positron particles to form an image rather than the energy used in X-rays.
Before being scanned a radioactive medicine is produce and tagged to a natural body chemical. This combination of natural chemical and radioactive material is then inserted into the patient being scanned. Different natural chemicals are used depending on which part of the patient’s body is being studied. The radioactive chemical combination is used in the patient’s body as the natural chemical normally would be, only it produces positrons that can be detected by the PET scan. The detected positrons can be rendered as a 3D image.
PET Scans are useful for:
PET scans are especially good for this. Cancer cells use glucose differently to healthy cells, so a radioactive material tagged to glucose effectively show the presence and spread of cancer.
Pet scan of the skull can show which parts of the brain are being affected by the epilepsy.
Pet scans can accurately show which parts of the heart have been damaged.
Unlike x-ray technology the PET scan can show the functioning of internal organs, and not just static images of solid objects. X-rays show bones and are very useful for finding and diagnosing fractures and other problems. They are also good for location foreign objects. By contrast, Pet scans are used to shoe functioning soft organs,
Ultrasound technology uses vibrations similar to sound waves, only much higher in frequency, to show an image of an unborn child inside a pregnant woman. PET is never used for this as the radioactive medicine would have a stronger effect on the child than the adult. Though the risk is still fairly low it is unnecessary and therefore avoided.
Ryde Centra Imaging uses several different techniques and technologies to provide accurate medical images. Ultrasound, X-ray, and CT scans are part of the general practice.