Positron emission tomography, also called a PET scan, is a nuclear medicine exam that produces a three dimensional image of the body’s functional processes. It is safe and painless, and uses a small amount of a radioactive drug to show differences between healthy and diseased tissue. The diagnostic images produced by PET are used to evaluate a variety of diseases.
Some imaging centers or departments use a PET system that is integrated with a CT scanner. This combination enables the simultaneous evaluation of both anatomy and physiology of the body, helping to more accurately identify cancer, heart disease and brain disorders than previous generations of PET-only scanners.