whole-body FDG PET/CT
When is this exam indicated?
18F-FDG PET is used in oncology to: define the stage of the disease for patients with known primary lesions, make differential diagnosis between relapse and radiotherapy treatment, evaluate the response to chemo- and/or radiotherapy treatment, search for disease for patients with increased tumor markers and negative or doubtful clinical and instrumental picture, search for disease in patients with metastases from primary tumor at unknown location, diagnose the nature of expansive formations found with other methods. In the field of inflammatory pathologies, this examination is used to search for inflammatory outbreaks in patients with fever to be determined (dndd) negative to conventional investigations and to evaluate the activity and extension of inflammatory/granulomatous processes (i.e. vasculitis).
- oncological pathologies
- inflammatory pathologies
How is it performed?
The total stay of the patient in the department for the execution of the examination is about 2 hours. Fasting for at least 6 hours before the examination is required. Prior to the start of the examination, the patient must provide personal clinical documentation (medical records, haematochemical, histological and radiological examinations) regarding both the pathology under study and any concomitant pathologies; the patient must also inform the doctor of any diabetes and the interval of time elapsed since previous surgery and radiotherapy treatments. In case the interval from previous surgery or radiotherapy is less than three months, the nuclear physician decides whether or not to proceed with the examination depending on the diagnostic query. Before administering the tracer, blood glucose is measured. If the blood glucose values are acceptable, the tracer is injected intravenously; if the blood glucose is altered, based on the levels the physician decides whether to proceed with the exam or reschedule it. After the injection it is important to relax and avoid physical activity, to reduce muscle absorption of the tracer. The waiting time before the start of the examination is about 60-90 minutes during which it is advisable to drink 2 to 3 glasses of water and to urinate frequently in the designated lavatories located next to the waiting room. The purpose of this procedure is to optimize the quality of the images by eliminating the radioactivity contained in the bladder, as the radiopharmaceutical does not bond to the tissues to be studied and is excreted in the urine. At the end of the waiting time, the patient is placed supine on the bed of the PET/CT or PET/RM tomograph for the acquisition of images, for a period of about 30 minutes, during which he must remain absolutely still and maintain a calm breathing. It is recommended to keep away from pregnant women and small children after the execution of the examination for the day of the examination. The PET investigation can be integrated with CT with contrast medium or MRI with contrast medium for diagnostic purposes, which requires the presence of the radiologist.
This examination cannot be performed in case of: