What are PET-CT Scans-

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					A PET-CT scan uses acronyms for much longer terms: Positron Emission
Tomography (PET) and Computerized Tomography (CT). They are both imaging
tools that are used in hospitals throughout the world to help doctors locate cancerous
cells and tumors in the body, in order to enable better and more accurate diagnosis.
Each scan brings something to the process - the PET scan detects the metabolic signal
of any growing cancer cells and the CT scan provides a very detailed image of the
inside of the body which helps provide information about the location and quantity of
any cancerous tumors. Used together these two scans are extremely powerful in terms
of providing medical data and provide much information about the severity of any
cancerous activity. This is the reason they are usually carried out at the same time.
These scans use non-surgical processes and take very little time to carry out. They can
be carried out on an outpatient basis and are completely painless tests
 A PET scan is a type of nuclear medicine imaging and is carried out by exposing the
body to some radioactive material. This is usually administered via an injection into
the vein, a pill of some type or inhaled as a gas. The amount the body is exposed to is
very small so there are no long term side effects. The radioactive material
accumulates in the area of the body that is being investigated and by doing so, energy
(gamma) rays are given off. These rays are picked up by a special probe and scanner.
Working together, the probe and the scanner can detect how much of the radioactive
material has been absorbed by the body and turn this into an image that provides
intricate details of the structure and function of the organs, cells and tissue in that
particular area.
 Image fusion or co-registration refers to the practice of superimposing these images
with the images produced by a computerized topography scan (CT scan) or even with
a magnetic resonance image (MRI scan). By correlating images in this way even more
accurate and more precise information can be gleaned which makes for better
diagnosing of patients.
 Whilst a PET scan is useful for measuring functions such as blood flow, oxygen use
and a person’s glucose metabolism in order to see how particular organs are working,
a CT scan is useful for providing internal images with anatomic information. When
combined in the way described above doctors have access to a wealth of information
that enables them to "see" exactly what is wrong with a person and how serious the
condition is. When used together these two scans (or modalities) create synergy - they
can provide much more detailed information and prove to be far more valuable than
when used separately.
 PET-CT scans are in particular used to detect cancer in the body. Not only can
tumors be found but the rate of growth of cancerous cells and the extent to which they
have spread can be seen. These types of scan can be given at regular intervals
throughout the treatment of cancer to see how effective it has been and if the cancer is
returning or being kept at bay. Aside from oncology, these scans are also useful for
determining blood flow to the heart and assessing the damage after a heart attack to
see what treatment or surgery would be appropriate. PET-CT scans are also useful for
mapping brain function and detecting abnormalities such as tumors, disorders and
problems with the nervous system.
 The medical world benefits greatly from the use of pet-ct scans in their methods for
diagnosis. Medical image processing is a powerful tool in the fight against many
serious illnesses and disorders, but when used together in particular a PET scan and
CT scan provide a wealth of information. It works particularly well with oncology
software, enabling cancerous growth to be detected and monitored continuously.
 Kathryn Dawson writes articles for Mirada Medical Limited, bringing you advanced
software for fusing images from pet-ct scans. Their registration software aligns PET
scan images as well as CT scan images. Mirada’s application for medical image
processing offers comprehensive analysis for diagnosis, staging, treatment planning,
assessment and response in oncology. Find out how XD3 is among the most advanced
oncology software in use today.

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