PARK AVENUE - Radiologists
PARK AVENUE Manhattan's Premier Radiology Practice













Park Avenue Radiologists, PC has installed the latest generation multidetector PET/CT Sytem with the highest resolution of PET configuration, to allow for imaging virtually all organ systems, including cardiac PET/CT.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computerized Tomography (CT) are both standard imaging tools that allow physicians to pinpoint the location of cancer within the body before making treatment recommendations.

The highly sensitive PET scan detects the metabolic signal of actively growing cancer cells in the body and the CT scan provides a detailed picture of the internal anatomy that reveals the location, size and shape of abnormal cancerous growths.

Alone, each imaging test has particular benefits and limitations but when the results of PET and CT scans are "fused" together, the combined image provides complete information on cancer location and metabolism.

The bottom line is that you can have both scans - PET and CT - done at the same time.

What is PET/CT?

In one continuous full-body scan (usually about 30 minutes), PET captures images of miniscule changes in the body's metabolism caused by the growth of abnormal cells, while CT images simultaneously allow physicians to pinpoint the exact location, size and shape of the diseased tissue or tumor.

Essentially, small lesions or tumors are detected with PET and then precisely located with CT.

How PET/CT Works

While a CT scan provides anatomical detail (size and location of the tumor, mass, etc.), a PET scan provides metabolic detail (cellular activity of the tumor, mass, etc.). Combining these two scanner technologies makes a PET/CT superior to either technology alone. 1

Anatomical: CT scanners send x-rays through the body, which are then measured by detectors in the CT scanner. A computer algorithm then processes those measurements to produce pictures of the body's internal structures.

Metabolic: PET images begin with an injection of a solution of glucose (sugar) that has been "tagged" with a radioactive chemical isotope (generally fluorine 18, or FDG). Metabolically active organs or tumors consume sugar at high rates, and as the tagged sugar starts to decay, it emits positrons. These positrons then collide with electrons, giving off gamma rays, and a computer converts the gamma rays into images. These images indicate metabolic "hot spots," often indicating rapidly growing tumors (because cancerous cells generally consume more sugar/energy than other organs or tumors).

The entire examination usually takes less than 30 minutes, providing comprehensive diagnostic information to your health care team very quickly. The PET/CT system provides exceptional image quality and accuracy of diagnostic information.

1 Zerhouni, E., M.D., Johns Hopkins Hospital (2001, June 21).

Benefits of PET/CT

There are tremendous benefits of having a combined PET/CT scan:

  • Earlier diagnosis
  • Accurate staging and localization
  • Precise treatment and monitoring
With the high-tech images that the PET/CT scanner provides, patients are given a better chance at a good outcome and avoid unnecessary procedures. A PET/CT image also provides early detection of the recurrence of cancer, revealing tumors that might otherwise be obscured by scar tissue that results from surgery and radiation therapy, particularly in the head and neck.1

In the past, difficulties arose from trying to interpret the results of a CT scan done at a different time and location than a PET scan, due to the fact that the patient's body position had changed. The combination PET/CT provides physicians a more complete picture of what is occurring in the body - both anatomically and metabolically - at the same time.2

1 Shreve, P., M.D., University of Michigan Health System, (2002, July 9).

2 Hricak, H., M.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, (2002, January 15).




Referring Physician Access