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Positron Emission Tomography Scan


A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is used to take pictures of tissues and organs in your body. A small amount of radiation is put into your body before the PET scan. The radiation is called a tracer. The tracer collects in an area and gives off energy. A computer analyzes the energy and creates pictures of the area being examined.


Call 911 or have someone else call for any of the following:

  • You have chest pain or discomfort that spreads to your arms, jaw, or back.
  • You suddenly cannot see out of one or both eyes.
  • You are confused, or you have trouble speaking to or understanding others.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have a seizure or pass out.
  • You have trouble breathing or cough up blood.
  • You have nausea or are sweating for no reason.
  • Your arm, leg, or face feels numb or weak. This may happen on only one side of your body.
  • Your lips or nails turn blue or white.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have headaches or dizziness.
  • 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.