Patient Information

Patient Information on PET Scan Procedures

Patients who have been referred to our department by a physician will be asked to schedule and appointment for their PET scan. A PET scan is performed after an intravenous injection of a radioactively labeled tracer. The examination is not invasive or painful. There are several types of scans, and each patient will be scanned based on the nature of their disease. The time required to complete the examination varies between one and two hours. During the examination, the patient must lie on his/her back on a bed. The bed can move so the problematic area of the patient's body can be properly positioned within the PET scanner. The scanner is open on both sides so the patient will not experience lack of air or claustrophobia. After the scan is completed, the patient can leave the department and return home. The medical team will then process and analyze the exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any side effects from the injection of the radioactive substance?
Nope! There are no side effects.

Is there any preparation on my part required before the scan?
Yes! The patient is required to fast (though s/he may drink water) starting 6 hours prior to the scan.

What about patients who have diabetes?
The patient's blood sugar will be measured in the department before the scan, and in the event that it is found to be very high, the required dose of insulin will be injected in order to reduce the high blood sugar.

What is the difference between a CT scan and a PET scan?
A CT scan gives images of the anatomy of the body, while a PET scan gives images of the physiology and metabolism of the body.

Are there any risks to having a PET Scan?
There is no risk. The radiation exposure to the patient is less than that of a CT scan.

How long will the radioactive material remain in my body?
The half-lives of the radioactive materials used for PET scans vary between 2 minutes and 2 hours. The biological half-lives of the substances are also short (the materials are excreted through the urine).

What is the accuracy of a PET scan?
Very high.

Are there other PET scanners in Israel?
No. At present, the PET scanner at the Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem, is the only one in Israel.

What is so special about a PET scanner?
Since the radioactive tracers used for PET are based on biological substances used by many systems in the body, the technology of PET makes it possible to locate and measure metabolic processes.

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is a particularly efficient method for identification of a number of diseases including: various types of cancer (lung cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, lymphoma etc.), epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, ischemic heart disease and myocardial viability.