PET (positron emission tomography) is a powerful diagnostic tool that assists physicians in detecting disease. This non-invasive procedure produces digital pictures that can, in many cases, identify many forms of cancer, damaged heart tissue, and brain disorders. Technically, PET images the biology of disorders at the molecular level before anatomical changes are visible. The metabolic changes are mapped by using a safe and harmless radioactive tracer, injected into the body, and then shown by the use of the PET scanner. Abnormally high or low metabolic activity is seen on the image pinpointing the problem.
A PET scan is very different than an Ultrasound, X-ray, MRI, or CT, which detect changes in the body structure or anatomy as a lesion or musco-skeletal injury. A PET scan can distinguish between benign and malignant disorders (or between alive and dead tissue). By evaluating PET physicians monitor the treatment of disease. For example, chemotherapy leads to changes in cellular activity, and that is observable by PET long before structural changes can be measured by Ultrasound, X-rays, CT, or MRI. A PET scan gives physicians another tool to evaluate treatments, perhaps even leading to a modification in treatment, before an evaluation could be made using other imaging technologies.
You may have questions about Alzheimer’s disease, whether the aging you are experiencing is a normal part of life or if your loss of memory is due to a possible disorder. These are important questions to ask, and MD Nuclear Imaging may be able to provide you with answers.
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