Tag Archives: PET scan

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that uses a radioactive substance called a tracer to look for disease in the body. A PET scan shows how organs and tissues are working.

CDI Miami | Tuesday March 27, 2018

What is a PET Scan?

A Positron Emission Tomography (“PET”) scan is an imaging test that allows your doctor to check for diseases in your body.

The scan uses a special dye that has radioactive tracers. These tracers are injected into a vein in your arm. Your organs and tissues then absorb the tracer when highlighted under a PET scan. The tracers help your doctor see how well your organs and tissues are working. The PET scan can measure blood flow, oxygen use, glucose metabolism (how your body uses sugar), and much more.

 

Why a PET Scan Is Performed
Your doctor may order a PET scan to inspect the blood flow, oxygen intake and metabolism of organs and tissues, they are commonly used to uncover:

  • -Cancer
  • -Heart problems
  • -Brain disorders
  • -Central nervous system disorders

PET scans give doctors glimpses of complex systemic diseases, as they show disorders at the cellular level. Here are a few examples:

  • -seizures
  • -tumors
  • -coronary artery disease
  • -brain tumors

Risks of a PET Scan
The PET scan involves radioactive tracers, however, the exposure to radiation is minimal. According to the Mayo Clinic, radiation levels are too low to affect normal processes in your body. The risks of the test are minimal compared with the benefits the results from diagnosing serious medical conditions.
However, radiation exposure is unsafe for developing fetuses. If you’re pregnant or breast-feeding, do not get a PET scan.

How a PET Scan Is Performed

Before the scan, you’ll get tracers through a vein in your arm, a solution you drink, or in a gas. Your body needs time to absorb the tracers, so you’ll wait about an hour before the scan begins.

Next, you’ll undergo the scan. This involves lying on a narrow table attached to a PET machine, which looks like a giant letter “O”. The table glides slowly into the machine so that the scan can be conducted.

During the scan, lie still. The technician will let you know when it is that you need to remain still. You may be asked to hold your breath for short periods. You’ll hear various buzzing and clicking noises during the test.

When all the necessary images have been recorded, you will slide out of the machine.

After the PET Scan

After the test, you can go about your day unless your doctor gives you other instructions. Drink plenty of fluids after the test to help flush the tracers out of your system. Generally, all tracers leave your body after a few days.

 

CDI Miami | Tuesday June 21, 2016

The ALARA Principal

Intrinsic to working in radiology is working with radioactive materials. Although we will always be exposed to some level of radiation, we use the ALARA principal (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) to keep exposure to a minimum.

 

This principle assumes that there is no threshold for inducing “biological effects” and therefore any dose of radiation carries with it some risk. In other words, there is no level of “safe” radiation.

 

Using the strategies of Time, Distance, and Shielding, we can keep radioactive exposure as low as reasonably achievable. This maximizes efficacy for your treatment and keeps everyone safe, especially our patients. Below is a list of techniques we use to minimize radiation exposure:

 

alara principle

    1. Safe delivery of radiopharmaceuticals – When the syringe is being held with the plunger or needle, we make sure that it is managed with the utmost precaution, and, we take advantage of remote injectors whenever possible.

 

  • Transportation of Patients – How close to the back of the wheelchair are we standing when transporting a patient? Do we maintain appropriate distance when we are walking them out of the department or when we enter the scan room?

 

 

  • Cleaning up spills (including patient blood or body fluids) – This relates to how quickly we isolate and remove fluids that could contaminate the scan room, or mitigate the effect of the treatment.

 

 

  • Holding / Lifting Patients – We pay particular attention to where we stand in relation to our patients, especially if we have our radiation badge on.

 

 

  • Radioactive Tracers – When using these in treatment, we make sure that the all the precautions are made, so that we can have a safe and efficient treatment.

 

 

  • During PET/CT/MRI Scans – We drape our patient’s bodies with a radioactive shield, isolating the exposure to only the areas that need treatment.

 

 

These techniques are just a tiny sample of the ways we consider your wellbeing during our examinations. For diagnostic imaging services, including PET/CT Scans, MRIs, and Mammograms contact the Center for Diagnostic Imaging in Miami.

 

 

CDI Miami | Tuesday May 24, 2016

Nuclear Medicine – New World of Diagnosing and Treating Illness

Over the past century, radiology has evolved into more sophisticated forms of medical treatment. One of these forms is nuclear medicine. Nuclear medicine features the ability to search for an array of diseases in multiple areas of the body. From heart, brain, lung and bone to different types of cancer, this new and improved medicine can correctly diagnose many diseases. Now, more and more medical professionals along with the Center for Diagnostic Imaging are adopting nuclear medicine for a painless and far more accurate scan.

 

Nuclear medicine is unsurpassed in accuracy by any other form of radiology, it is noninvasive and painless medical procedure used by physicians to help diagnose medical conditions. “During the first part of the test the patient will have to walk on a treadmill to increase the patient´s heart rate. Then, the patient will be injected with a thallium solution that will travel through the heart vessels and work as contrast. The heart will be scanned using a “gamma” camera that will track the injected solution and create a picture of the heart vessels. After the patient´s blood pressure has lowered, more images of the heart will be taken. The patient should expect to be in the office for at least four hours.” Says the Miami Center for Diagnostic Imaging.

 

There are a number of bodily functions, diseases, and cancers that can be identified through the use of nuclear medicine. Abnormalities of the brain, respiratory health, and blood flow can be properly visualized inside out. Not to mention bone scans are made possible thanks to nuclear medicine. Additionally, transplants in the previous body parts can be identified for rejection.

 

Diagnosable diseases include coronary artery disease, metastatic bone disease, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer disease. Of course, cancerous tissue can be detected in nearly all parts of the body, even rare tumors of the pancreas and adrenal glands. Other evaluations for hyperparathyroidism, lymphedema, spinal fluid and possible bleeding in the bowls are achievable through nuclear medicine.

 

One significant advantage nuclear medicine can provide in the evaluation and diagnosis of the patient is the ability to fuse images from both full body CT and MRI scans in order to create more precise measurements of the patients systems. This is called a PET/CT scan. The precision and accuracy provided by these scans is unparalleled.

 

While non-invasive there is preparation on behalf of the patient that must be taken. This can sometimes be up to a week ahead of time for the patient to be ready. Preparation can include stopping a medication regimen in which it is patient responsibility to consult their physician before doing so. All in all, though the patient should not experience any discomfort from nuclear medicine.

 

For more information about CDI Diagnostic and Preventive Services please call 1.800.371.0002 or contact us.

CDI Miami | Tuesday January 26, 2016

The Benefits of PET/CT Scans

Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning adds a whole new dimension to a radiologist’s ability to diagnose and directly treat disease.  PET scans show metabolic function and abnormal molecular cell activity from anatomic structures. PET scans can detect very small cancerous tumors as well as subtle changes in the brain and heart.

It is a nuclear medicine imaging test used to diagnose a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease, etc. In PET scanning, a patient is injected with a radioactive tracer infused with simple sugars.  Cancerous cells and metabolically active organs metabolize these sugars much faster than normal cells.  As these sugars are consumed, they begin to decay and emit positrons.  These emissions collide with electrons, sending gamma rays out from the body.  These rays are captured and processed by a computer to form “hot spots” on the images.

Since the disease process begins at a chemical level long before it presents structural changes, the information from a PET scan can provide radiologists a signal that there is a problem even before anything would show up through normal examinations.

PET scans are a valuable tool; PET scans have recently been combined with computed tomography (CT) scanning technology to increase results.  CT imaging uses X-ray equipment to create detailed images of slices of the inside of the body. The PET-CT combination allows any abnormality on the PET scan to be precisely located within the body, allowing for more accurate diagnosis of any problems. Both types of scan are critical in diagnosing disease. Before the PET CT scan option, radiologists had to perform both scans separately and then compare images to determine the location of an abnormality within the body. Combined PET CT scanning provides the detailed information of CT with the “hot spot” information of the PET scan, offering more accuracy in targeting a disease site through only one exam.

These scans can often detect disease much earlier, allowing for treatment and cure with higher success. It can also show the “staging” of a disease, providing radiologists with invaluable information about the disease’s growth and progression. They can show whether a tumor is benign or cancerous and can also monitor the effectiveness of treatment.

PET scanning is a powerful diagnostic test that is having a major impact on the diagnosis and treatment of disease. It provides unique information which may assist in making a diagnosis, in determining treatment or providing the likely outcome of any disease.

Nuclear medicine tests, with a full body scan through the use of PET technology can provide information on how tissue or organs are working, which cannot be obtained from other imaging techniques. PET scans may detect disease earlier than other types of scanning by identifying early changes to tissue and organs.

Radiologists at the Center for Diagnostic Imaging use this advanced technology as their preferred choice to provide outstanding patient care with preventative and diagnostic purposes.

CDI Miami | Tuesday December 22, 2015

3D Mammography – 21st Century Breastcare

CBCC

 

 

If caught early, breast cancer can be treated with a very high success rate. Breast cancer is one of the most treatable cancers because of the advancements in lumpectomy and mastectomy surgery, and the early detection methods that have been developed in recent times.
Nevertheless, the discovery of any type of cancer is extremely distressing. It has a huge impact on people’s lives. Breast cancer is particularly upsetting for women, because their breasts are considered part of their femininity and sexuality.

 

The Center for Diagnostic Imaging always recommends that women have regular mammograms so that their physicians can detect any occurrence of cancerous cells at a very early stage. This is the stage at which non-invasive treatments can usually get the cancer sufferer into remission. In order to have the scans done, a woman must find a convenient imaging center that complies with her physician’s standards. Many women in South Florida choose one of the CDI Miami offices, conveniently located in Aventura, North Miami Beach and South Dade.

 

The Center for Diagnostic Imaging always recommends that women have regular mammograms so that their physicians can detect any occurrence of cancerous cells at a very early stage. This is the stage at which non-invasive treatments can usually get the cancer sufferer into remission. In order to have the scans done, a woman must find a convenient imaging center that complies with her physician’s standards. Many women in South Florida choose one of the CDI Miami offices, conveniently located in Aventura, North Miami Beach and South Dade.

 

Medical imaging can get expensive, so it is vitally important that patients find a center they can trust, where they know they will receive the best quality images that do not contain any errors.The South Florida CDI offices have the very latest imaging equipment available in every center. Fully qualified radiologists, experts at using the scanners and reading the results, are employed at every CDI location.The Center for Diagnostic Imaging’s facilities in North Miami Beach uses 3D mammography, an imaging technique that can detect breast cancer at a very early stage. An MRI scan can pinpoint disease centers in the body and these can be monitored on a regular basis for any changes, which could indicate future potential problems. People searching for a pet scan in Miami will find that CDI Miami comes highly recommended, based on the local popularity of the centers and the high quality of service offered at every location. CDI Miami even gives patients the option to have a full body CT scan. This will give the radiologists an entire map of what is going on inside the body so that potential disease can be detected. This information is then passed onto the patient’s physician. Any abnormalities that show up can then be treated immediately, or monitored to check for any developments. So many people who end up with life-threatening illnesses and conditions could have been saved a lot of pain and anguish if they had been able to detect problems and treat them at a very early stage.

 

About CDI Miami: CDI Miami is the Center for Diagnostic Imaging, the premier center for CT scan Miami with locations in South Florida at Aventura, North Miami Beach, and South Dade. For more information and to book a consultation, call toll free on 800-371-0002 or visit cdimiami.com

 

CDI Miami | Wednesday October 14, 2015

Saving Time and Money by Combining Diagnostic Medical Imaging Tests

Many patients do not ask questions about the types of diagnostic medical imaging tests their doctors order.  However, patients should not be afraid to start a dialog with their doctors and talk about whether it might make sense to have a second, different type of scan done at the same time.  In many cases, doing so can save the patient time and money.  Continue reading

CDI Miami | Tuesday August 25, 2015

PET Scans are safe.

Your doctor might recommend that you undergo a positron emission tomography (PET) scan if he or she suspects that you may have certain medical conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, or a brain disorder like Alzheimer’s disease. A PET scan is a nuclear medicine exam, which means that it uses a radiopharmaceutical to allow healthcare providers to examine the metabolism of organs and tissues. If you’ve been asked to undergo a PET scan in Miami, you may have some concerns about potential health risks. However, you can rest assured that PET scans have an excellent safety record.

Continue reading

CDI Miami | Thursday July 16, 2015

Radiology and the Treatment of Brain Injury and Disease

MRI, CT and PET Scans are Critical to Successful Patient Outcomes

This year, the focus of IDoR was brain imaging and radiation, which plays a critical role in diagnosing and treating brain disease and brain injuries. Continue reading

CDI Miami | Monday June 15, 2015

PET/CT captures hidden source of neuroendocrine cancer

The origin of cancer is often obscured by metastases – tumors that have already spread to other tissues. This is especially the case for neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), a malignancy of nerve cells scattered throughout various organ systems that are sensitive to the signaling of neurotransmitters and hormones. An investigational molecular imaging technique could be the key to finding the elusive primary tumor, say presenters at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI).

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CDI Miami | Thursday May 21, 2015

Going Digital Can Help Lower Radiation Dose

Digital radiography seeks to reduce the exposure to artificial radiation through diagnostic imaging. Although digital imaging has been around since the 1970s, major advances have been made in the last decade. As technology improves, the amount of radioactive material required for clear imaging decreases.

 

Digital radiography offers increased capabilities as compared with conventional radiography, such as post-processing, electronic archiving, concurrent access to images, and improved data distribution. Operators of digital images can vary exposure level within certain parameters without influencing the visual quality of the images, thus reducing radiation dose.

 

Advantages of digital imaging include ability to “develop” images within seconds as opposed to the several hours it used to take to develop x-ray films. The speed helps patient care as well as contributes to work place efficiency. The other advantage to using digital imaging is that healthcare practitioners can view the images on any computer.

 

Images are encrypted in a “Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS),” a password protected secure system, helpful in case of a natural disaster or sudden relocation as patient medical records can be accessed remotely.

 

In addition to quick storage options, digital images are also easily shared. This can be done over a local area network (LAN) within a hospital or healthcare facility, or just as easily shared within a global network. Images can be quickly retrieved with imaging software such as Adobe Photoshop. This allows quick edits, such as the removal of dust spots or blurry areas.

 

Digital Imaging has particularly impacted the following areas of medical imaging:

Computed Tomography (CT) Angiography

 

“CT angiography is one of the greatest advances in imaging,” says Jonathan Lewin, MD, chairman of the department of radiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

 

It is only recently that Angiography – the examination of the blood vessels – can be done by injecting a contrast agent. Previous to this, a lengthy and complicated procedure that involved catheterization and several hours of x-rays was required to see anything in the veins.

 

“In the past, we had to do surgery just to see what was going on inside the body,” says Hillman, a professor of radiology at the University of Virginia. “But CT scans, MR scans, and ultrasound have become so good that they have largely done away with the need for the surgical approach.”

 

PET/CT Scans for Cancer

 

PET (positron emission tomography) has been around for several decades, however, it is only recently that it has been combined with CT scans. PET scans are designed to look at biological functions, like metabolic processes or blood flow.

 

“PET is able to pick up the metabolic changes associated with cancer much earlier than you could see tumors or other physical changes in the organs,” says Lewin. “By fusing PET and CT, you get to see both the metabolic information of PET and the anatomic detail of CT at once. It’s a big advance.”

 

Digital Mammography

 

“Digital mammography for breast cancer screening is a significant leap forward, it gives us a much higher level of detail than older technology,” remarks Dr. Lewin. According to a study published within The New England Journal of Medicine, digital mammography was found to be more accurate for some women, with immediate and accurate exams.

 

As medical imaging technology continues to advance, it is important to stay informed of the latest treatments so that your healthcare can become simpler and easier. Schedule your exam today and benefit!