Digital PET-CT: A Reliable and Precise Diagnostic and Predictive Tool Technology and Treatment Center


PET-CT is an important diagnostic and predictive tool in cancer management. From diagnosis to staging, from monitoring to evaluating the patient’s response to the therapy, PET-CT is indispensable in every stage of cancer treatment.

The digital PET-CT scanner redefines precision with advanced sensitivity and detectability parameters compared to analog PET-CT scanners. This aids in efficient dose management, reduced scan times, devising effective treatment plans, and eventually enhancing the patient experience.

Diagnosis with the digital PET-CT provides a better understanding of disease progression, including the detection of smaller lesions at lower PET isotope doses.

How Does Digital PET-CT Work?

Before carrying out a digital PET-CT scan, a radioactive isotope is produced in a cyclotron. It is then tagged with a natural chemical like glucose. The natural chemical and the isotope are known together as a radiotracer. The dosage of radioactive isotope is reduced by 50% during a digital PET-CT scan as compared to a conventional PET-CT scan. Despite the reduced dosage, digital PET-CT doesn’t compromise the quality of the diagnostic results.

The radiotracer is then intravenously injected into the human body. Once the radiotracer is inside the body, it will reach those areas in the body that utilize this natural chemical for various biochemical activities. For example, tumor cells absorb glucose at higher rates due to their greater metabolic activity and show up as bright spots during the diagnosis.

A special camera or imaging device then detects the radioactive emissions from the radiotracer and accurately produces images of the structure and functioning of the organs.

A CT scan is carried out to capture pictures of the internal organs from different angles using X-rays.

A computer then combines the data from PET and CT scans to produce 3-dimensional images of internal organs that show their structure and function, along with any abnormalities.

Advantages of Digital PET-CT

Digital PET-CT has numerous advantages:

Digital PET-CT supports the reliable detection of small lesions and provides great image clarity, which supports accurate diagnosis.

Digital PET-CT’s advanced reconstruction algorithm feature helps reduce scan time.

Digital PET-CT helps specialists have a better understanding of disease progression.

This imaging technique can provide precise information on cancer staging.

Digital PET-CT helps doctors evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although the working principle is the same for both, there are a few differences between digital and analog that make the former a superior diagnostic tool against cancer and other diseases.

  • Digital PET-CT reduces the patient’s radiation exposure by almost 50%.
  • The scan time is significantly shorter with Digital PET-CT.
  • Digital PET-CT supports higher-quality imaging and thereby helps specialists detect even smaller lesions

Digital PET-CT scans are more comprehensive and detailed when compared to CT scans or PET scans alone. Digital PET-CT scans can help detect the early onset of cancer, which is usually missed in CT or PET scans. This procedure, in some cases, also helps patients avoid unnecessary tests or invasive procedures.

The following information should be shared with your doctor:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you are allergic to any drug or radiotracer
  • If you have recently received treatment for any infections
  • If you have recently received radiation therapy

No, you don’t need to get admitted for your PET-CT scan. However, your doctor will provide special instructions on your food and water intake before your scan, and you must adhere to them without fail.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind before your digital PET-CT scan:

  • You should avoid eating anything for about six hours before your scan.
  • You may have to refrain from exercising for 24 hours prior to the scan.
  • You should remove metal objects like jewelry, hairpins, dentures, eyeglasses, etc. before the exam, as these may affect the CT scan results.