Digital PET-CT – Revolutionary Cancer Diagnosis Platform
PET-CT is an important diagnostic and prognostic tool in cancer treatment. From diagnosis to staging, from monitoring to evaluating patient’s response to the therapy, Digital 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 analogue PET-CT scanners. This aids in efficient dose management, reduced scan times, devising effective treatment plans and eventually helps in enhancing the patient experience.
Diagnosis with the digital PET-CT provides a better understanding of the 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 to a natural chemical like glucose. The natural chemical tagged along with the isotope is known as a radiotracer. In digital PET-CT, the dosage of this isotope is reduced by 50-70% without compromising the accuracy of the results.
The radiotracer is then intravenously injected into the human body. Once the radiotracer is inside the human body, it will reach those areas in the body which utilise this natural chemical. For example, tumour 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-ray. A computer then combines the data from PET and CT scans to produce 3-dimensional images of internal organs that show their structure and functioning along with abnormalities, if any.
Advantages of Digital PET-CT
Digital PET-CT has numerous advantages:
- Digital PET-CT imaging is a completely safe procedure.
- Digital PET-CT supports reliable detection of small lesions and provides great image clarity, which supports accurate diagnosis.
- Digital PET-CT’s advanced reconstruction algorithm feature helps in reducing scan time.
- The patient’s radiation exposure is reduced by 50-70% in digital PET-CT imaging.
- 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 analogue that makes the former a superior diagnostic tool against cancer and other diseases.
- Digital PET-CT reduces the patient’s radiation exposure by 50-70%.
- 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 than CT scans or even PET scans.
PET-CT scans evaluate body tissues on a molecular level and help detect the early onset of cancers, which are usually missed in CT scans or PET scans.
This procedure, in many cases, also helps patients avoid unnecessary tests or invasive procedures.
The following information should be shared by you 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 this has to be followed 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 jewellery, hairpins, dentures, eyeglasses etc., before the exam as these may affect the CT scan results.