Guide To Positron Emission Tomography Scans (PET Scans)

When PET Scans Are Used

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Positron emission tomography (PET) scans are utilized to diagnose and evaluate the progress of numerous different disorders, diseases, and conditions. The most common use for these scans is for the detection, diagnosis, and progression of cancer in the body and evaluation of cancer treatments. Another reason this type of scan may be performed is to diagnose conditions associated with the deterioration of brain function. Examples include Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, cerebrovascular accidents, and other types of dementia. 

This type of scan can also be used to evaluate the flow of blood to the muscle tissues of a patient's heart to help evaluate the efficacy of a therapeutic procedure to help blood flow to the heart muscle. Positron emission tomography scans can also help further identify masses or lesions seen in a patient's lung tissues picked up on a chest CT or chest x-ray.

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