PET scan
Positron emission tomography, a highly specialized imaging technique using short-lived radioactive substances. This technique produces three-dimensional colored images. PET scanning provides information about the body's chemistry not available through other procedures. Unlike CT (computerized tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), which look at anatomy or body form, PET studies metabolic activity or body function. PET has been used primarily in cardiology, neurology, and oncology. In particular, it has been used to assess the benefit of coronary artery bypass surgery, identify causes of childhood seizures and adult dementia, and detect and grade tumors. It is very sensitive in picking up active tumor tissue but does not measure the size of it. In PET the patient receives a short half-lived radiopharmaceutical (produced by a cyclotron or a generator). Because the radioisotope used in a PET scan is short-lived, the amount of radiation exposure the patient receives is about the same as two chest X-rays. The radiopharmaceuticals discharge positrons from wherever they are used in the body. As the positrons encounter electrons within the body, a reaction producing gamma rays occurs. The patient lies on a table that slides into the middle of the scanner. Within the scanner are rings of detectors containing special crystals that produce light when struck by a gamma ray. The scanner's electronics record these detected gamma rays and map an image of the area where the radiopharmaceutical is located. Since the radiopharmaceutical contains a chemical commonly used by the body, PET enables the physician to see the location of the metabolic process. For example, glucose (or sugar, which the body uses to produces energy) combined with a radioisotope will show where glucose is being used in the brain, the heart muscle, or a growing tumor.

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PET scan 'pet- n a sectional view of the body constructed by positron-emission tomography
PET scanning n

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positron emission tomography, or the image obtained from it.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • PET scan — ☆ PET scan [pet ] n. [p(ositron) e(mission) t(omography)] a type of tomography that, through the use of radioactive tracers, shows the metabolism, as of glucose, in the body, esp. the brain: used in diagnosing abnormalities PET scanner n. PET… …   English World dictionary

  • PET scan — PET′ scan n. 1) med an examination performed with a PET scanner 2) med an x ray image obtained by examination with a PET scanner …   From formal English to slang

  • PET scan — ˈpet noun : a sectional view of the body constructed by positron emission tomography • PET scanning noun * * * 1. an image obtained by positron emission tomography, using a PET scanner. 2. an examination performed with a PET scanner. [P(ositron)… …   Useful english dictionary

  • PET-Scan — Die Positronen Emissions Tomographie (von altgr. τομή, tome, „Schnitt“ und γράφειν, graphein, „schreiben“), Abkürzung PET, ist ein bildgebendes Verfahren der Nuklearmedizin, das Schnittbilder von lebenden Organismen erzeugt, indem es die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • PET-scan — Tomographie par émission de positons Pour les articles homonymes, voir TEP. Reconstruction tridimensionnelle de la distribution de glucose marqué au fluor 18 telle que mesurée par tomographie d émission de positons La tomographie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • PET scan — Tomographie par émission de positons Pour les articles homonymes, voir TEP. Reconstruction tridimensionnelle de la distribution de glucose marqué au fluor 18 telle que mesurée par tomographie d émission de positons La tomographie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pet scan — Tomographie par émission de positons Pour les articles homonymes, voir TEP. Reconstruction tridimensionnelle de la distribution de glucose marqué au fluor 18 telle que mesurée par tomographie d émission de positons La tomographie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • PET scan — Positron emission tomography scan. A procedure in which a small amount of radioactive glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein, and a scanner is used to make detailed, computerized pictures of areas inside the body where the glucose is used.… …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • PET scan — noun Date: 1980 a sectional view of the body constructed by positron emission tomography • PET scanner noun • PET scanning noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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