Introduction to PET CT Scan

PET stands for Positron Emission Tomography scan. It’s an imaging test which reveals how the tissues and organs are functioning. PET CT scan uses the radioactive drug for showing the activity. It detects the disease before it shows on other imaging tests such as CT Scan,MRI Scan.,etc

The radioactive drug can be injected, swallowed or inhaled depending on which organs or tissue to be studied. PET CT scan is useful in examining various conditions which include cancers, heart disease and brain disorders. These scans are combined with CT and MRI for creating special views.

What is a PET CT Scan?

The PET CT scan is an effective way of examining the chemical activity in certain parts of the body. It helps in identifying a variety of conditions which includes cancer, heart disease and brain disorders. PET CT scan helps the doctor in better understanding and diagnosing the illness. This test uses a safe injectable radioactive tracer for scanning the chemical effects.

PET CT scanner helps in measuring the blood flow, oxygen and how the body uses sugar and much more. This is a typical out-patient procedure where you can leave after the test is done.

Why do Hospitals use PET CT Scans?

The PET scanner will check for the signs of:

  • Cancer which includes breast cancer, thyroid cancer and lung cancer
  • Any heart problems like Coronary Artery Disease(CAD) and Heart Attack
  • Various types of brain Disorders like brain tumors, epilepsy, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


The cancer cells have a higher metabolic rate than noncancerous cells which can lead to a high level of chemical activity and cancer cells show up as spots on the PET CT scans. PET scan helps in seeing if-

  • Cancer is spreading in the body parts
  • The cancer treatment is progressive or not
  • There is any recurrence in cancer

Heart Problems

PET scan helps in revealing the areas of decreased blood flow in the heart. It is because healthy heart tissue will take more time to trace than the unhealthy tissue which has decreased the blood flow.

Brain disorders

The main fuel of the brain is glucose. During the PET CT scan tracers are attached with the glucose. It detects the radioactive glucose and then the PET CT scan is able to detect the area of the brains that are utilizing glucose at a high rate.

PET CT scans are used in diagnosing and managing many central nervous system disorders:

  • Head trauma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Depression

Difference between PET Scan and CT Scan and MRI Scan

PET Scan
CT Scan
MRI Scan
It’s an imaging exam that is used for diagnosing diseases or issues by looking at how the body is functioning. CT Scan uses computers and rotating X-Ray machines for creating cross- sectional images of the body. It uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to display detailed images of the body.
PET-CT Scan uses a special dye with radioactive tracers which help the machine in capturing the changes on how the body is working. CT Scan shows a clear picture of soft tissues, blood vessels and bones in various parts of the body. Images are used to determine the injured and unhealthy tissue in the body.
PET-CT Scan are used to:
  • Identify lapses in cognitive function
  • Detect cancer
  • Find an infection
CT Scan are used to:
  • Identify lapses in cognitive function
  • Detect cancer
  • Find an infection
MRI Scan are used for:
  • Anomalies of the brain and spinal cord
  • Tumors, cysts on various parts of the body

PET CT scan cost

Pet CT Scan can help you detect any other hidden ailment in your body. At its most advanced stage, cancer has no cure; however it can be treated if the disease is detected early. Take advantage of the Pet CT Scan services at the most affordable prices with latest discounts and offers.

PET CT scan price in Hyderabad is based upon number of factors and may range from ₹16,000/- to ₹32,000/-. At Medicover Hospitals, we strive to provide safe and complex PET scans while ensuring that the patient is at ease and knows each step of the process with a holistic approach to treatment. The first GEN 2 Discovery IQ 4D PET-CT Scan in India Helps in the accurate diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Risks involved in the PET CT Scan

The risks involved in PET CT Scan are less when compared with the other Scanners:

  • PET CT Scan involves radioactive tracers but it has less exposure to harmful radiation.
  • The risks are very low as compared to the beneficiary factors.
  • The tracer consists of glucose with radioactive components attached. So it makes the body eliminate tracers even if you are having past medical conditions of kidney disease or diabetes.

People with other health conditions

There is a possibility of getting an allergic reaction to the tracer. People who are highly allergic to iodine, aspartame and saccharin need to talk to their doctor. Some of the health conditions include:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Heart Disease
  • Dehydration
  • Blood cells disorders
  • Kidney disease

Side Effects

Some of the measure side effects of PET CT scan are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Flushing
  • Mild rash

In some cases, a person may get serious allergic reactions which are known as anaphylaxis.

How is a PET CT Scan performed?

Before you go for scan, you’ll get tracers through the vein in your arm through a solution that you drink or a gas that you inhale. The body needs time to absorb the tracers and you have to wait about an hour before the scan begins.

The time that takes to absorb the tracer will depend on the area of the body that should be scanned. During your waiting time, you have to limit your movement, relax and try to stay warm.

Next, you have to undergo the scan for 30-45 mins. You have to lie on the narrow table attached to a PET CT machine which looks like the giant O. The table then slides slowly in the machine so the scan can be conducted.

The doctor will let you know when you have to remain still and when you have to move. When all the necessary images are recorded you can slide out of the machine

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do PET CT Scan detect all types of cancers?

PET CT scan is useful in detecting many types of cancers. It can verify the smallest cancer cells. PET CT Scan images are combined with CT or MRI scan for creating special views.

Is PET CT Scan Painful?

PET CT scans are not painful. These are used for diagnosing the condition and tracking down the development. Scans are not painful but they shouldn’t consume food at least before 4-6 hours.

How long does PET CT Scan take?

Pet scan take at least 30minutes. The scan is painless but can feel uncomfortable lying still for a longer period of time.

Is PET CT Scan a claustrophobic?

PET scan is a source of claustrophobic.

How many PET CT Scans can you have in a lifetime?

The more scan you have the higher will be your lifetime exposure and higher will be the risk. Mainly three scan limit applies for the type of tumor.

Is a pet scan effective than CT Scan?

Yes, PET scan is effective than CT scan. PET scan show the metallic changes that occur at the cellular level in tissue and organ.

Is there any alternative for PET CT Scan?

IRT is a potential noninvasive and safe alternative for PT scan.

Can I drink water before a PET CT Scan?

Avoid drinking of water for 6 hours before the PET scan.