Irving, Texas, July 13, 2020 – PET / CT scans are regularly recommended to patients. According to the Center for Radiological Research, the number of CT scans performed annually, is over 70 million, and it exceeds that of PET scans’ 2 million. A Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan is a medical imaging type for examining organ function and tissue function. A Computed Tomography (CT) scan uses an x-ray equipment form together with computer imaging to view cross-section of the body.
“Depending on the purpose of the test, both scans have the potential to reveal the functioning of your body for further diagnosis, long-term treatment, and health management conditions,” Illustrates the radiologist. “They’re often used in combination with one another to diagnose and monitor various medical conditions powerfully. The interpretation for one message allows for a radiologist to analyze two types of functions at one.”
Below are key differences between PET and CT scans.
- Contrasting agents
The significant difference between a PET scan and a CT scan is the contrasting agents used in the body. For a PET scan, small amounts of radioactive substances within the body called contrast materials. It may sound scary, but the tracers used leaves your body a few hours following the scan.
A CT scan, on the other hand, uses iodinated contrast agents that are administered through an IV and move throughout the bloodstream. While they may seem similar because they use contrasting agents, the type you get depends on the scan.
- Diagnostic purposes
While physicians may order a combination of the scans for different reasons, they do have distinct diagnostic purposes. Below are a few reasons for a PET scan.
- Look for cancer spreading after a diagnosis
- Examine lung damage or lesions
- To check the effectiveness of cancer treatment
- Diagnosis of other diseases Parkinson’s dementia, and Huntington’s disease
Reasons for a CT scan
- Detect bone injuries or vital body organs
- Detect soft tissue damage
- Find tumor before and during surgery
- Locate the exact location of a tumor
“Both scans will help monitor the effectiveness of cancer treatment on the body. The PET scan indicates cancer cells present in the body, but a CT scan reveals abnormal tissue and gives detailed images,” says the radiologist.