How long does a PET scan take?
After the radiotracer is injected into a vein, it usually takes up to one hour to travel throughout the body and be absorbed into the organs or tissues that are being examined.
The PET scan itself may take another 30 to 60 minutes.
Heart and brain studies take less time for imaging.
How long does a PET scan take for results?
Generally, all tracers leave your body after two days. Meanwhile, a trained specialist will interpret the PET scan images and share the information with your doctor. The results are usually ready for your doctor within two business days, and your doctor will go over the results with you at your follow-up appointment.
Do all cancers show up on PET scan?
Not all cancers show up on a PET scan. PET scan results are often used with other imaging and lab test results. Other tests are often needed to find out whether an area that collected a lot of radioactive material is non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant).
What are the side effects of having a PET scan?
If undergoing a combination PET-CT scan, the iodine-based contrast dye used for the CT component can cause side effects, including nausea, vomiting, headache, itching, flushing, and mild rash. In rare cases, a serious, all-body allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may occur.
Is PET scan painful?
PET scans are often used to diagnose a condition or to track how it is developing. Used alongside a CT or MRI scan, it can show how a part of the body is working. A scan is not painful, but patients should not consume any food for at least 4 to 6 hours before a scan. They should drink plenty of water.