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Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography (PET CT) Scan

A PET CT scan combines positron emission tomography (PET), which shows cell or metabolic functions, with computed tomography (CT), a complex x-ray system that creates a three-dimensional image of organs, bones and tissues in your body.

Main uses:

  • More accurately detect cancer to help determine treatment options and monitor effectiveness of treatment.
  • Detect neurological and cardiac conditions.
  • Diagnose and treat epilepsy, dementia and movement disorders.

How it works:

  • Three-dimensional scan of a portion of your body, or your whole body, if needed.
  • Provides a more thorough picture of organs and tissues in the body than other scans.
  • Enables medical teams to pinpoint the location of a cancer and better distinguish malignant cancers from benign growths.
  • Allows decision-making without invasive examinations or exploratory surgery.

1. How to prepare

  • Bring your health card with you.
  • Absolutely no food, coffee, tea, juice, gum, or candies six hours prior to your arrival time (drink plain water only).
  • Take prescribed medication as usual except for diabetic or syrup medications (diabetic patients will receive instructions).
  • You will receive specific instructions prior to your scan.

2. Risks

The use of a radioactive sugar in the bloodstream, combined with a CT scan, exposes the patient to much larger amounts of radiation than normal x-rays. 

If you are pregnant (or think you might be), inform your physician and the imaging staff before the procedure.

You will be slightly radioactive for several hours, so you should stay 5-6 feet (2 meters) away from an infant (or anyone who is pregnant) after you leave.

For more about CT scan risks, see Related Items, below.


3. Service location

In Saskatchewan, service is available in one location:

  • PET CT Department
    Royal University Hospital, Ground floor, 
    103 Hospital Drive, Saskatoon
    Phone: 306-655-3340

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