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Doctor insights on: What Can A Pet Scan Show

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Dr. Guido Davidzon
Board Certified, Nuclear Medicine
12 years in practice
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What can a pet scan show?

What can a pet scan show?

What is the question: Currently pet scans are widely use for evaluation of glucose metabolism in the body. In oncology, is use to for initial metabolic characterization of tumors, metastases as well as for treatment response and surveillance. In cardiology, pet scans are use to assess heart ischemia and viability and in neurology the study is use to evaluate cognitive disorders, epilepsy and brain tumors ...Read more

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Dr. Steven Seres
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Dr. Guido Davidzon
259 doctors shared insights

Pet Scan (Definition)

Pet scans most often use a radioactive form of glucose, the energy source for most of the cells in our bodies. The pet scanner can detect and measure how much of the radioactive glucose analog, f-18 fdg, is in a particular organ or region. The areas using more glucose are hyper metabolic and generally more worrisome. Our brains and sometimes hearts prefer glucose as food, making ...Read more


Dr. Brian Wosnitzer
Board Certified, Nuclear Medicine
12 years in practice
422K people helped
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Should a pet scan show any cancer?

Should a pet scan show any cancer?

Glucose: Pet scan relies on the theory that tumors utilize a significant amount of glucose. Many different types of cancer can show up on pet scan but certain types of cancer are much more FDG avid. Low grade tumors usually have much less uptake than high grade tumors. In addition, mucinous neoplasms often do not have much FDG uptake. Small size tumors or micrometastases also may not show up on pet. ...Read more

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Dr. Steven Seres
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Dr. Joseph Accurso
Board Certified, Radiology
23 years in practice
1M people helped
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Why would a pet scan show hyperactivity in an area in the colin where i had a polyp removed 2 months prior?

Why would a pet scan show hyperactivity in an area in the colin where i had a polyp removed 2 months prior?

Possibly: Pet/ct scans with FDG localize areas with increased glucose metabolism. Although this can be some types of cancer, it also can be due to infection, inflammation and healing wounds. ...Read more

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Dr. Christian Schultheis
Board Certified, Hematology and Oncology
18 years in practice
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My dad is 53 years old and in good shape. He was diagnosed with stage 4 secondary liver cancer; the primary is still unknown. He has had a CT scan, an endoscopy, and a colonoscopy done. Will a pet scan show something more?

My dad is 53 years old and in good shape. He was diagnosed with stage 4 secondary liver cancer; the primary is still unknown. He has had a CT scan, an endoscopy, and a colonoscopy done. Will a pet scan show something more?

Possibly: More important is the pathology. We rely on pathology and the immunochemistry. The pet may be helpful but sometimes we do not find a primary. This is called a cancer of unknown primary. ...Read more

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Dr. Steven Seres
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Dr. Mary Engrav
Board Certified, Emergency Medicine
25 years in practice
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Can nuerontin cause high suv on a pet scan had breast caner 5 years ago, got a ouple of lumps on my nek, took a pet scan, show lymph nodes under arms, groin, chest, foreman of winslow, and others showed high suv, biopsy from under arm was neg. For lymphom

Neurontin : Neurontin in very rare circumstances can in fact cause lymphadenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes), but given your history I am very glad that you had a biopsy. Please discuss this carefully with your oncologist given your history. I will wish the best for you. ...Read more

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Dr. Guido Davidzon
Board Certified, Nuclear Medicine
12 years in practice
151K people helped
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What part of the body does a whole pet scan show?

What part of the body does a whole pet scan show?

Eyes to thighs: Even though the study is called whole body pet/ct, most often the image acquisition is from the eyes to thighs. The parts of the body that are included varies from center to center and also depends on the patient's symptoms and cancer histopathology. For e.g. Melanomas can metastasize anywhere in the body and thus real whole body scans are obtained (skull vertex to toes). ...Read more

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Dr. Gerald Mandell
Board Certified, Nuclear Medicine
46 years in practice
4M people helped
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What shows up on pet scan but not on cat scan?

What shows up on pet scan but not on cat scan?

Glucose metabolism: PET with F18 FDG, glucose metabolite, determines glucose metabolism of normal and abnormal structures.For example, sometimes lymph nodes are visualized on CT and do no know whether benign or malignant. In general malignant lesions are more active and have higher metabolism of glucose ...Read more

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Dr. Carlo Contreras
Board Certified, Surgical Oncology
12 years in practice
2M people helped
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Are small liver nodules less than 1cm cancer, didn't show on pet scan?

Are small liver nodules less than 1cm cancer, didn't show on pet scan?

Hard to say: Pet scan is most appropriate for detecting liver nodules 1cm or bigger. Those that are smaller should be evaluated with different kind of tests. I would recommend a liver MRI with Eovist contrast. Eovist is not the standard contrast and needs to be specifically requested. If the MRI does not give a definite answer, the repeating the scan in 3 months is another option to see if they're growing. ...Read more

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Dr. Nestor Del rosario
Board Certified, Addiction Medicine
28 years in practice
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Post op seminoma, in r testicle. Pet scan done for suspecious nodes. Pet scan result shows negative for any abnormalility. This means no seminoma?

Post op seminoma, in r testicle.  Pet scan done for suspecious nodes. Pet scan result shows negative for any abnormalility. This means no seminoma?

Surveillance: A negative pet scan means there is no accumulation of cancer cells large enough to be discernible by the pet scanner. There is a resolution limit of about 7mm in size to be seen, some are better now. I am not trying to scare you, but your doctor i'm sure will continue to caution you and continue surveillance for a period of time safe to say you are cancer-free. ...Read more

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Dr. Joseph Accurso
Board Certified, Radiology
23 years in practice
1M people helped
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Does a whole body pet scan show the brain?

Does a whole body pet scan show the brain?

If it is included: The drug given goes everywhere in the body, including the brain. How much of the body that is imaged depends on the disease being looked for. For lymphoma, scans start at the base of the brain and end at the upper thighs. For head and neck cancer, the scan is from the top of the head to the upper thighs. Melanoma includes the whole body, and seizures is just of the brain. ...Read more

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Dr. Steven Seres
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