PET and SPECT/CT scan

PET scan

Positron emission tomography (PET) is an imaging method used to locate cancerous tumours and/or metastases using special cameras that can detect the increased metabolic activity of cancer cells. Before the scan, you will be given a radioactive substance that travels to the brain, liver and any tumours, and which can be detected by gamma cameras. For a more detailed anatomical image of the cancerous tumour, PET scans are combined with CT scans. The Department of Oncology uses the PET scanner of the HUS Medical Imaging Centre.

Single photon-emission computed tomography (SPECT/CT) is similar to PET. In SPECT/CT scanning, the camera moves around the patient, providing 3D images of the targeted body part. This makes it for example possible to accurately locate a tumour. For a more detailed image, 3D SPECT scans can be combined with images rendered using other scanning techniques. SPECT/CT scanning is typically used to scan bones with a gamma camera, to calculate ejection fraction, and to follow the movement of radiotracers used in nuclear medicine.