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Chester, NJ
A 61-year-old female asked:

can stool in the colon cause a pet scan to light up?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Shari Jackson
Radiology 21 years experience
No: There is variable uptake throughout the bowel on pet scans due to a number of factors (e.g., bowel motility, types of cells in the bowel or inflammation). It is not uncommon to have areas of focal uptake in the bowel. Stool, per se, should not cause increased uptake, though bowel activity may lead to a focal "hot spot.".
Dr. Joseph Accurso
Radiology 29 years experience
No: Stool does not take up fdg, the radiopharmaceutical most often injected for pet/ct scans. Very dense stool, like after an upper GI or barium enema, can cause a false positive appearance because of how the images are corrected for density. Pet/ct can detect colon cancer and some types of polyps, if they are metabolically active and large enough.

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Last updated May 4, 2018

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