PET scan, commonly known as positron emission tomography is an imaging test that helps surgeons check any type of fatal and non fatal diseases in a human body. A special dye containing radioactive tracers is into a vein of a patient, depending on what part of body is to be examined.
The tracers help doctors examine if your tissues and organs are working properly or not. The tracer gets accumulated in an area of high chemical activity, and this is really helpful to detect some diseases that have a higher level of chemical activity.
PET scan is used to measure blood flow, oxygen, sugar etc. and is an outpatient process. It means you can go home the same day after the completion of PET scan. Doctor asks their patients to go for PET scan if they want to check the blood flow, oxygen level, metabolism etc of organs and tissues.
PET scan is generally used to detect:
- Cancer: Cancer cells have high metabolic rate, and as we know the tracer of a PET Scan gets accumulated in an area of high chemical activity to detect diseases. Hence, this way cancer is detected as well. PET scan is also useful for checking the cancer spread, and checking if there is any chance of cancer recurrence.
- Cardiac problems: PET scan also determines if there is decreased blood flow in the heart. Because decreased blood flow will take in less tracer as compared to a healthy heart. PET Scan has various colours and degree of scans which help doctors decide if there is any kind of tissue infection.
- Brain diseases: Glucose is a vital part of the brain and during PET Scan, tracers get attached to glucose. And by detecting radioactive glucose, PET Scan can detect the areas of brain which are utilizing glucose at higher rates. Doctors look at the Scan to check of the any abnormalities if present in the brain. PET Scans are helpful in detecting the following brain diseases.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Head trauma
- Parkinson’s disease
But before going for a PET scan test, I suggest you to consult your doctor because there are various risks involved in PET scan as well.
- People with allergies and other health conditions: People who are allergic to iodine, aspartame or Saccharin should tell their doctor about their allergy problems if their doctor has suggested them to go for PET Scan. Because it is possible to have an allergic reaction to the tracers. A tracer made up of diluted barium sweetened with Saccharin can be given to people who are allergic to iodine.
- Pregnant: Pregnant lady should definitely avoid PET scan because any type of radiation is considered unsafe for foetuses. If a lady is pregnant or thinks, she may be pregnant should not get a PET scan.
- People getting a PET CT Scan: If a patient is having a PET CT Scan then additional tracer can also be needed and this additional tracer can pose threat to kidney to the people who have elevated creatinine levels from the medication they are already taking.
Getting a PET Scan in Chennai is not at all difficult because there are various PET Scan centres in Chennai. PET Scan cost in Chennai varies from 10,000 to up to 40,000. Well it basically depends upon the various factors such as laboratory city , hospital etc.