PET CT Scans

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We have locations around the region to make scheduling an appointment easier for you.

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PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and CT (Computed Tomography) are standard imaging tools used to pinpoint disease states in the body.

PET/CT provides greater accuracy than CT alone.

Common Uses

  • Detect and determine whether cancer has spread
  • Assess the effectiveness of a treatment plan, such as chemo or radiation therapy
  • Determine if cancer has returned after treatment

How it Works

A PET/CT scanner looks similar to CT scanner. It uses a small amount of radioactive glucose called a tracer, which shows doctors how cells in the body use glucose for metabolism.

The tracer is injected into your bloodstream, and you will be asked to remain relaxed and quiet as the tracer circulates in your body. Typically the tracer circulates for 45-60 minutes and the scan takes 30-60 minutes. For these pictures you will need to lie on your back and remain still.


Is PET/CT safe?

During a PET/CT, the patient is exposed to an amount of radiation similar to the exposure of a CT Scan. The tracer used in the scan decays completely a short time after the scan.


  • Bring your own medicines for pain, anxiety or fear of being in a closed space (claustrophobia). If you need this type of medicine, contact your provider for a prescription as we do not provide them.
  • Arrange for someone to take you home, if you have taken medicine for claustrophobia..
  • Do not exercise 24 hours prior to the exam.
  • Do not wear any clothing with metal in it. This includes underwires, zippers, snaps, etc.
  • Your blood sugar (glucose) level must not be elevated at the time of your exam.
  • The night before your scan, restrict your diet to protein-only meals and avoid carbohydrates, such as potatoes, noodles, rice, biscuits, bread, doughnuts and pasta.
  • Do not eat or drink anything other than water or black coffee for the 6-hour period prior to your scan. Chewing gum and breath mints (even diet kind) are also excluded.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • You may take your medications with water, if it's OK to do so on an empty stomach.
  • After your exam we recommend that you drink plenty of liquids to help flush the residual tracer out of your system. 

    If you are diabetic:

    • Do not eat or drink anything other than water 6 hours prior to your scan
    • Your blood sugar must be no higher than 160 in order for us to do the scan.
    • Test your blood sugar before your appointment. If it is above 160, call us at 910.667.5112 to reschedule your scan.
    • If you take diabetic medications, please contact the PET/CT department 1-2 days prior to your appointment for further instructions.

    About Your Exam

    Your exam will take place at the NHRMC Medical Mall, which located at 2243 South 17th Street. Call 910.667.5112.

    Arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. The tracer is effective for only a short period of time and if you are late to your appointment you may have to be rescheduled. You should plan to be at this appointment for 2-3 hours.  

    Questions: Contact the PET/CT department at 910.667.5112

    To Reschedule: Contact Centralized Scheduling at 910.667.8777