WVU Medicine Imaging Services uses positron emission tomography (PET), a form of nuclear medicine, and computerized tomography (CT) in a single imaging device to provide more accurate diagnoses than two separate scans. Our PET-CT imaging can also be used to help plan more targeted radiation therapy and reduce the patient’s amount of radiation exposure.
Imaging We Offer
PET-CT scans at WVU Medicine are beneficial for detecting a variety of conditions, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Brain tumors
- Cardiac viability before bypass surgery
- Coronary heart disease
- Neuroendocrine tumors
- Prostate cancer
- Sarcoidosis (inflamed tissues form in lungs and lymph glands)
- Seizure disorders
WVU Medicine Imaging Services uses two highly-advanced Siemens Biograph 16-slice PET-CT scanners that are accredited by the American College of Radiology. Each scanner can accommodate up to 500 pounds, and you will lie on a padded table that is inserted into a tube-like machine during the exam.
All WVU Medicine PET-CT technologists are board certified by the American Registry for Radiologic Technologists for Radiography and Nuclear Medicine, and some are dually certified in their field by the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board.
J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital is the first location in West Virginia to offer a FDA-approved prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) imaging agent, called PYLARIFY®, to evaluate patients with prostate cancer during a PET-CT scan.
What to Expect
Before the PET-CT exam, a blood glucose check is performed, and a radioactive tracer is injected through an IV. The amount of the radionuclide injected is very small, and there is no need for precautions against radiation exposure. Your entire body will be scanned to obtain a full evaluation of your metabolic activity.
During the CT portion of the exam, you will receive a contrast dye injected through an IV and lie on your back with a cushion under the knees and the head. Your arms will be positioned above your head for the scan, which takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.
After the scan, you can resume your normal daily activities and eating habits. You’ll need to drink plenty of fluids for the next 24-48 hours to help flush out the radioactive material and contrast dye from your body. Once the PET-CT exam is completed, the images are reviewed by a board-certified radiologist, and the radiologist will send your doctor a report. Your doctor will notify you with the results. To communicate easily and securely with your WVU Medicine provider, sign up for our free patient portal, MyWVUChart.