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Positron Emission Tomography of the Chest

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is used to take pictures of your chest. A small amount of radiation, called tracer, is put into your body before the PET scan. The tracer shows how chemicals, such as glucose (sugar), are working in your tissues. A PET scan of your chest will show the blood flow through your heart. A PET scan may show an abnormal growth, such as a tumor. It may be used to show if cancer has spread. A PET scan may show disease or damage to your chest, lungs, heart, or esophagus.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
    • Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest
    • You may also have any of the following:
      • Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
      • Shortness of breath
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat
  • You have nausea or are sweating for no reason.
  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You cough up blood.

Call your doctor if:

  • You feel dizzy.
  • You have questions or concerns about your PET scan, condition, or care.

Drink liquids as directed:

You may need to drink extra liquids after your PET scan. This will help flush the tracer out of your body. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

You may need to return to go over the results of your PET scan. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.