A 32-year-old member asked:
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what is the difference between a pet scan & a ct scan?

4 doctor answers
Dr. Maureen Nash
23 years experience Geriatric Psychiatry
PET is functional: A pet scan tells us which cells are taking up glucose which is a measure of functioning. Cancer cells take up too much glucose and other illnesses like dementia have cells that do not take up enough glucose. A ct scan is a structural test and shows the outlines of cells and how big they are. Cts are useful for looking at bones and other sources of calcium.
Answered on Jul 5, 2012
Dr. Guido Davidzon
17 years experience Nuclear Medicine
Metabolism & Anatomy: A pet scan is use to evaluate metabolic processes in your body. Currently pet scans are most commonly use to evaluate the glucose metabolism to assess the activity of neoplasms by capturing gamma photons . For this purpose a radioactive form of sugar is injected in the patient. In ct scans external x-rays are use to produce an anatomic image of the body to evaluate size, shape, etc.
Answered on May 11, 2014
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Dr. Joseph Accurso
28 years experience Radiology
Anatomy vs Physiolog: Ct scans look at the structure of the body, the anatomy, and the way diseases change or distort it. Pet looks at the physiology, or how the body uses, or metabolizes something. For pet, the most common metabolism pathway looked at is how glucose is used. A low dose ct is often acquired at the same time as the pet (as in pet/ct scan), to correlate the pet findings with the ct anatomy.
Answered on Dec 10, 2013
Dr. Gerald Mandell
51 years experience Nuclear Medicine
Anatomic/physiologic: Pet scan involves intravenous injection of radio tracer usually f18 fdg.Imaging of whole body occurs for localization of areas of increased glucose metabolism. Malignant tumors usually most active.Ct scan involves x-ray and performs anatomic imaging of parts of body usually head, chest, abdomen, pelvis, or extremities. Pet?Ct combines imaging modalities for anatomic localization of areas of uptake
Answered on Nov 22, 2014

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A 29-year-old member asked:
Dr. Carl Decker
23 years experience Radiology
Usually done togethr: A pet scan measures the uptake of glucose. The uptake of glucose is increased in most cancers. A ct scan is a basically a series of xrays over the are ... Read More
A 39-year-old female asked:
Dr. Carlos Encarnacion
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CT is a glorified...: ..X-ray that shows the body as if it was sliced horizontally. You see organs and other structures but sometimes we cannot tell if they're cancer or be ... Read More
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Dr. Brian Wosnitzer
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PET/CT vs. CT: Pet/ct scan has 2 sets of images (pet ; ct images) which are fused for interpretation. The ct part provides anatomic info while the pet part provides ... Read More
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A 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. William Goldie
47 years experience Pediatric Neurology
Precision: Ct is a great screening tool for imaging the organs. Mri images certain tissues more accurately. Pet uses radioactive material to light up specific ... Read More
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