PET/CT Scans at Garnet Health
At Garnet Health Medical Center, we offer patients Positron Emission Tomography and Computerized Tomography (PET/CT), which is a state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging tool that allows physicians to pinpoint the location of a disease within the body before making treatment recommendations. Imaging technology provides physicians the proper tools to detect and care for specific diseases at a faster pace. With the ability to diagnose neurological disorders, make an earlier cancer diagnosis, determine the stage of cancer and plan the right course of precise treatment.
Schedule An Appointment
To schedule your appointment please call the Garnet Health Medical Center centralized scheduling department at 845-333-7900. The PET/CT department is open Monday - Friday 6:30 AM - 5:00 PM, and one Saturday a month from 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM.
Receiving Test Results
Once images are taken, they are immediately available for review by your doctor through our secure Web viewer. Test results are delivered electronically via our GE IntegradWeb Picture Archive Computer System (PACS) to aid in fast diagnosis. To request a copy of your diagnostic imaging exam, call us at: 845-333-1222
You may also login to your MyChart account to view your results.
PET/CT System at Garnet Health Medical Center
The highly precise PET/CT scan integrates metabolic and anatomical data to illustrate the biology of disorders at the molecular level while simultaneously being able to specifically locate abnormal growths and/or changes in the body structure. During this procedure, the patient is given a small amount of a radioactive tracer through an IV. As the tracer travels through your blood stream, it collects in organs and tissues, giving off emissions, or signals, that are measured by the PET scanner and developed into 3D images for your health care provider to analyze and use in diagnosis.
There are several benefits to utilizing PET/CT imaging including improved tumor detection and localization, precise staging of disease, including early detection, monitoring cancer recurrence, monitoring response to chemotherapy. We offer a few types of PET/CT scans at Garnet Health Medical Center, including:
- Skull to Thigh/Wholebody PET/CT Scan - During the PET procedure, the patient will be given a small amount of a radioactive isotope known as Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). FDG is comprised of both a radioactive element and a sugar molecule. Cancer cells have a faster metabolism for glucose than normal cells, and therefore a greater attraction for FDG. Once absorbed by these cells, the radioactive component will emit a signal that the PET scanner will change to light to produce a 3-Dimensional image of the body and organs.
- Brain PET/CT - Brain PET/CT scans are used to gather data on how the brain and its tissues are working for indications such as epilepsy or dementia/Alzheimer’s. This type of functional imaging is capable of detecting areas of the brain that are damaged or not properly metabolizing glucose.During the Brain PET procedure, the patient will be given a small amount of a radioactive isotope known as Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). FDG is comprised of both a radioactive element and a sugar molecule. Once the brain has metabolized the FDG injection, the radioactive component will emit a signal that the PET scanner will change to light to produce a 3-Dimensional image of the brain.
- Gallium-68 DOTATATE PET/CT Scan - Gallium-68 (Ga-68) DOTATATE (NETSPOT ™) is a specialized radiotracer designed specifically for Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs). NETs are rare neoplasms characterized by over-expression of somatostatin receptors (SSTRs). Ga-68 DOTATATE has a high affinity for and binds to SSTRs enabling detection of NETs and carcinoid tumors under the PET scanner. There is no preparation required for Dotatate scans.
- F-18 Fluciclovine (Axumin) PET/CT Scan - Axumin is a specialized radiotracer designed specifically for recurrent prostate cancer. Axumin is a targeted amino acid that aids in the evaluation of recurrent prostate cancers under the PET/CT scanner. Preparation for the exam includes: fasting for 4 hours prior to your appointment time, avoiding strenuous activity for 24 hours prior to your exam, and voiding no less than 1 hour prior to your appointment time.
Preparing for your PET/CT Scan
These instructions are for PET/CT scans taken at Garnet Health Medical Center in Middletown, NY. FDG PET/CT Scans require careful preparation, so please see the instructions below. When scheduling your PET/CT scan, inform the imaging staff if:
- You are taking any medication
- You are diabetic
- You are pregnant or nursing
Please plan to spend at least two hours at the PET/CT imaging facility. Exam times, procedures and discharge instructions vary with each patient. For specific procedure questions or concerns, please call Garnet Health Medical Center's PET/CT Department directly at 845-333-7245.
24 Hours before your appointment:
- Follow a HIGH-protein, LOW-carbohydrate diet
- Avoid strenuous activity and/or exercise
24 Hour Diet Guidelines -
- Foods Allowed:
- All meats and poultry
- Hard cheeses
- Non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, green beans, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chilies, cucumbers, green peppers, lettuce, mushrooms, olives, onion, and turnips)
- Foods to avoid:
- Refined sugar and sweetners
- All fruits
- Kidney beans
- Rice cakes
- All breads, muffins, and tortillas
- Pretzels and chips
- Rice and Pasta
- Granola and oatmeal
- All sodas, fruit juices, and flavored water
Diabetic Patients: Stable blood sugar levels are crucial for your PET/CT scan. Maintaining stable levels are more important than strict adherence to the recommended dietary instructions. If you feel that this diet would be harmful or create unstable blood sugar levels for you, continue your normal diet. If you require further instructions, please contact your diabetic healthcare provider.
6 Hours before your appointment:
- NO food or drink (except for plain water)
- Do NOT use chewing gum, candies, or mints
- Continue to your medications as scheduled prior to your scan as long as they are tolerated on an empty stomach
It is important that you arrive on time for the PET/CT procedure and bring the following to your exam:
- Insurance information
- Written order/prescription from your physician
- Films and reports from any previous diagnostic imaging procedure, including x-ray, CT, MRI, and any prior PET/CT scans from outside facilities
After checking in and registering for your exam at Garnet Health Medical Center's Outpatient Center Lobby, a PET/CT technologist will escort you into a private, "quiet room" where your procedure will begin.
What is the Quiet Room?
The quiet room is where you will rest between the injection and imaging process. For most patients the time spent in the quiet room will be about 1 hour. During this resting period it is important to relax and limit your movement. You will be relaxing in a reclining chair where a warm blanket will be provided to keep you from feeling cold. You can sleep, read, listen to music, or watch videos in this area.
Although magazines are provided, please feel free to bring your own reading material or small electronic device for entertainment.
Here your medical history and any prior PET/CT exams will be reviewed, as well as, an individual exam and procedure will be explained and reviewed. This will be followed by:
- A blood sugar check,
- An imaging tracer called Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), a radioactive sugar, administered by way of IV injection.
- 60 minute resting period before scanning begins
- The scan will promptly follow this resting period
The resting period is necessary for the FDG to travel and be distributed throughout the body. During this resting period it is important to relax and limit your movement. You will be relaxing in a reclining chair where a warm blanket will be provided to keep you from feeling cold. You can sleep, read, listen to music, or watch videos in this area. Although magazines are provided, please feel free to bring your own reading material or small electronic device for entertainment.
Please note: If you’re having a Brain PET-CT, we will ask that you do not read, listen to music, or sleep. These activities stimulate certain areas of your brain and may interfere with the results of your scan.
Can You Use My Port to Inject?
Medi-ports should only be accessed when absolutely necessary to avoid risk of malfunction and infection. In most instances, it would not be considered a medical necessity to access your Medi-port for PET/CT exams. For further clarification please contact the PET/CT department directly 845-333-7245.
What to Wear to Your Appointment
We ask that you wear warm, comfortable, metal free clothing (no underwire bras). If your outfit is metal-free, you can remain in your own clothing for the entire exam.
Please leave all jewelry and valuables at home as they will need to be removed prior to imaging.
During the Scan
- During the scan you will be required to lie flat on your back
- The table will be moved into a large opening in the PET/CT scanner (image below)
- You will be asked to lie still while the PET/CT scanner acquires the images. The time of the scan varies, but will typically range from 25 – 45 minutes
Exam times and procedures vary with each patient. If you are unsure of which procedure you are scheduled for or have specific procedure questions or concerns please call the PET/CT Department directly at 845-333-7245.
After the Scan
You can resume all normal activity and normal diet right away, unless instructed otherwise.
Radiation Safety Following PET/CT Exams
- Limit close contact with infants or pregnant women for 6 hours after your scan.
- If you’re breastfeeding, stop for 24 hours after your scan. During this time, you can continue to pump milk and either throw it away or store it for 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can feed it to your baby. You can restart breastfeeding 24 hours after your scan.