Monday, March 13, 2017

Should You Be Concerned When You Get Abnormal Results in a PET Scan?

PET (positron emission tomography) scans check your body at a cellular level. A wide range of health problems can be detected through a PET scan, such as cancer, diseases, heart problems, and brain disorders. Contrary to what some believe, however, abnormal results in a scan don't mean that you have a rare or abnormal disease.

How a PET Scan Works

Your doctor will give an injection that distributes a special dye throughout your body. The special dye has radioactive tracers attached that help your doctor see how your organs are functioning when the PET scanner is on. Doctors can measure oxygen use, blood flow, glucose metabolism, and other body processes through a positron emission tomography scan.

Abnormal vs. Normal Results

An abnormal result means that there may be an infection, problem with organ function, cancer, or change in organ shape, size, or position. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there's a cause for concern with our health. Sometimes, additional tests are needed to determine what caused the abnormal result. A normal result, on the other hand, means that there weren't any changes in organs, infections, cancer, or problems with organ function detected. Either way, leave it to a professional to interpret the results.

Factors that Could Decrease the Accuracy of the Results

It's important to stay still during the PET scan because too much movement can decrease the accuracy of the results. Try to keep your breathing slow and steady during the scan as well. Movement through breathing can make the screen blurry, making it more difficult for the doctor to see what's going on. Your doctor may ask you to hold your breath a few times during the scan for this reason. Metal can also interfere with the test's accuracy, so avoid wearing jewelry or clothing that has metal. You'll be asked to remove jewelry before the test.

PET scans are helpful for checking your body for diseases, cancer, heart problems, brain disorders, and other health issues. The results of a positron emission tomography scan are referred to as normal or abnormal. Normal results don't necessarily mean there's nothing wrong. It just means no infections, cancer, problems with organs, or changes in organs were discovered.


PET Scan,
PET Scan,
Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography (PET-CT) Scans, Cancer.Net

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