9 doctors weighed in:

Is a pet scan of the brain accurate?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Guido Davidzon
Nuclear Medicine
5 doctors agree

In brief: Varies

The accuracy of the test is variable depending on which pathologic process you are evaluating in the brain (epilepsy, dementia, differentiating a recurring malignant tumor from post-radiation changes, etc).

In brief: Varies

The accuracy of the test is variable depending on which pathologic process you are evaluating in the brain (epilepsy, dementia, differentiating a recurring malignant tumor from post-radiation changes, etc).
Dr. Guido Davidzon
Dr. Guido Davidzon
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Dr. Joseph Accurso
Radiology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Looking for what?

It depends on what is being looked for. Pet/ct looks at the metabolism. Or the function of the area scanned (brain in this case), using different radioactive drugs, or tracers.
The most common is f-18 fdg, an analog of glucose, which images glucose consumption. Other radiotracers look at protein synthesis or for evidence of the plaques that are associated with alzheimer's.

In brief: Looking for what?

It depends on what is being looked for. Pet/ct looks at the metabolism. Or the function of the area scanned (brain in this case), using different radioactive drugs, or tracers.
The most common is f-18 fdg, an analog of glucose, which images glucose consumption. Other radiotracers look at protein synthesis or for evidence of the plaques that are associated with alzheimer's.
Dr. Joseph Accurso
Dr. Joseph Accurso
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1 doctor agrees

In brief: PET is reliable

Pet scans are used in a number of clinical and research applications.
When used to measure the metabolic activity of brain region in comparison to other brain regions, in the research evaluation of dementia-yes; when used to evaluate hypermetabolism of suspected tumors vs. Normal brain-yes; when used to measure cerebral blood flow/metabolism in research/clinically-yes. It is often combined with ct.

In brief: PET is reliable

Pet scans are used in a number of clinical and research applications.
When used to measure the metabolic activity of brain region in comparison to other brain regions, in the research evaluation of dementia-yes; when used to evaluate hypermetabolism of suspected tumors vs. Normal brain-yes; when used to measure cerebral blood flow/metabolism in research/clinically-yes. It is often combined with ct.
Dr. Jonathan Dissin
Dr. Jonathan Dissin
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Dr. Brian Wosnitzer
Nuclear Medicine

In brief: Depends..

Depends on the tracer and the pathology you are looking for. There are different PET tracers which can be used.
FDG (glucose) is the most common pet agent and can be used to evaluate brain tumors or dementia however due to significant glucose utilization by the normal brain, evaluation can be somewhat limited. Other tracers such as florbetapir can be used to evaluate for dementia.

In brief: Depends..

Depends on the tracer and the pathology you are looking for. There are different PET tracers which can be used.
FDG (glucose) is the most common pet agent and can be used to evaluate brain tumors or dementia however due to significant glucose utilization by the normal brain, evaluation can be somewhat limited. Other tracers such as florbetapir can be used to evaluate for dementia.
Dr. Brian Wosnitzer
Dr. Brian Wosnitzer
Thank
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