What Is PET/CT?

Positron emission tomography (PET-CT) technology, combined with computed tomography (CT), is a crucial medical imaging technology that allows the diagnosis of many diseases. PET/CT using in the diagnosis and staging of cancer. Moreover, it also provides benefits in diagnosing “undiagnosed diseases” such as fever of unknown origin, detecting foci of infection, detecting living tissue in heart patients, and differentiating Alzheimer’s and dementia. In particular, medicine uses PET / CT devices at all stages for the initial diagnosis, staging, determination of the extent of cancer, and an accurate treatment plan. PET/CT contributes significantly to the fight against the disease by creating a roadmap for cancer treatment.

PET-CT takes advantage of increased glucose metabolism, a feature of cancerous cells. Before extraction, a radiolabeled sugar molecule injects into the vein, and this molecule accumulates in tumor cells. Since it takes images from the whole body, it can detect situations such as the spread of cancer to another place in the body (metastasis).

It is also used for diagnosing, staging, and restaging metastases where the origin is unknown.

PET/CT Using Areas

  • Lung cancer
  • breast cancer
  • Lymph cancer (lymphoma)
  • Gynecological cancers
  • Colorectal cancers
  • Other less common cancers.

PET-CT also plays a role in determining the focus of epilepsy, in neurological cases such as early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, and in investigating the presence of living tissue in the heart after a heart attack.

In Which Diagnoses Are PET/CT Useful?

  • Detecting tumors, especially in the field of oncology (cancer)
  • Determining the extent of tumor spread
  • Planning radiotherapy
  • Evaluate response to treatment
  • In some cases, to determine whether the present mass is benign or malignant.


What Are The Distinctive Features Of PET/CT?

Evaluation of cancer extent: PET/CT technology is successfully used in many types of cancer to evaluate (staging) the importance of the disease in the first stage after the diagnosis of cancer. It guides regional treatments in patients with spread (metastasis) disease.


Determination of the treatment approach: After this examination, the treatment approach changes on average in one out of three patients. Sometimes, drug treatment can be performed instead of a heavy surgical application, and the operation may not be necessary. In some cases, PET/CT shows that no spread in the patient is thought to have a distant space and allows the decision to remove the cancerous tissue by surgery instead of a drug treatment decision.


Early detection of the benefit of cancer drugs: Cancer drugs are drugs whose side effects should consider. The use of the appropriate drug both prevents side effects and can prevent the disease with the right drug and early intervention in the cancerous tissue. Evaluation with PET/CT after the 1st or 2nd cycle of the treatment provides early information on how useful the drug can be. Thus, the drug can change early, and new treatment can start.


Determination of treatment response: With PET/CT, the reaction to cancer drug can be evaluated by measuring both structural changes and cellular activity intensity numerically. After the treatment is completed, the efficacy of the treatment can be determined by investigating the presence of living cancer cells. PET/CT is the imaging system showing the earliest treatment response.


Making a radiation treatment plan: By mapping the areas of viable tumor cells to be irradiated in radiotherapy or radiotherapy with PET/CT, the chance of accurate and effective treatment increases. However, irradiation to healthy tissues is prevented.


Early detection of recurrent disease: After the treatment courses are completed, the patients follow up with ultrasound, tomography, and blood tests. In these methods, if a suspicious situation occurs, whether the live cancer cells reappear and their prevalence is determined by PET / CT method.


What Does PET/CT Show?

PET-CT provides early diagnosis of many diseases. In the past, whether nodules in the body were cancerous could only be detected by biopsy. Today, PET-CT can easily see whether these lesions are cancer or not with high sensitivity.

PET/CT is essential in imaging, thanks to the detailed information it provides about the tumor. With PET/CT, the metabolism of tissues can be seen, and after a lesion is determined anatomically, it can be understood whether it is active in malignancy (malignant).


What Are The Advantages Of PET-CT?

Usually, doctors identify and diagnose diseases by superimposing the results of PET, and CT scans they do separately. However, they need to position the patient in precisely the same position in two separate scans. As this is not always easy to achieve, the accuracy of the diagnostic information needs to be completed.

The PET-CT device lets doctors quickly perform both scans in a single session without moving the patient. Thus, metabolic data obtained by PET scanning and anatomical data obtained by CT can be obtained simultaneously from a single device, providing more detailed and accurate information compared to other imaging methods.