North Alabama Radiopharmacy, Inc.


You should feel fine. There are no side effects from the radiolabeled glucose.

You may also resume your normal diet. It will be helpful to drink more for 24 hours after receiving a PET scan as this will assist the body in eliminating any tracer that may remain.

There are no physical restrictions after the procedure.


PET is an acronym for "Positron Emission Tomography" During a PET scan patients receive an injection of a biomarker or radiopharmaceutical. After the tracer has had sufficient time to circulate the patient is placed on the PET scanner. The PET scanner produces images which reveal the distribution of the tracer. The tracers used in PET often accumulate in various diseases such as cancer and allow detection earlier than other methods of diagnostic imaging.


PET shows the function of tissue and organs while CT and MRI show only the anatomical details. The combination of the PET scan and the CT or MRI scan provides the optimal clinical interpretation and images for diagnosis. Often the functional information provided by PET can assist physicians with earlier detection and more appropriate treatment for disease resulting in better outcomes for patients.


All human cells consume glucose or sugar, but cancer cells utilize more glucose than healthy cells. When a patient is injected with a minute amount of radioactive glucose and scanned, the resulting images show the distribution of the radiolabeled glucose throughout the body. Areas of increased metabolism are temed as "hypermetabolic" and appear as "hot spots" on the images. These areas are evaluated closely to determine if cancer may be present.


Blood sugar will be tested uning a simple finger stick and needs to be below 200mg/dl.

An I.V. line will be placed in your vein to administer a small amount of radioactive glucose known as 18-flouro-dexyglucose.

After injection, you will be asked to rest very quietly for 45-90 mins to allow distribution of the radioactive glucose throughtout your body.

You will be placed in the scanner on your back and scanned for 30 min to 90 min depending on the area of intrest. It is very important that you do not move during the PET scan.


Nothing to eat or drink except water for 4 hours prior to the scheduled appointment.

Drink 6-8 glasses of water in the 24 hours prior to the appointment.

Avoid strenuous activity 24 hours prior to appointment.

Follow a high protein/low carbohydrate diet.

Bring a driver if relaxants are used.

If you are diabetic please contact the PET department prior to the date of your exam for special instructions.

Wear warm and comfortable clothes that have no metal.

If you take steroids or diabetic medications please inform the PET department prior to the date of your PET exam.

If you have had any other exams in radiology within a 48 hour period prior to your PET exam please contact the PET department.


Inform PET personnel and special procedures will be followed. The scan is usually not scheduled until at least four hours after the last administration of insulin or eating. You may be required to have the PET scan early in the morning prior to taking insulin and eating. In this case you should bring your insulin to the PET department so that it may be taken after you exam. You may also be asked to take your insulin and eat in the morning and then arrive in the early afternoon for your PET scan at least four hours later. The key is communication with the PET department prior to the date of your PET exam to avoid inappropriate preparation for the exam.


Please store enough milk for 24 hours prior to appointment. Breast-feeding will be suspended for 24 hours following the injection. Breast-feeding can be resumed 24 hours after the appointment time.


Patients receiving PET scans should plan to be at the PET facility at least 2-4 hours from the appointment time. While the scan usually takes less than one hour, paperwork and administration of the radiopharmaceutical necessary for the scan will take place prior to the exam.


Within 24 to 48 hours from the completion of your scan.