Positron emission tomography

Also known as: PET, PET/CT

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a test that uses a special type of camera and a tracer (radioactive chemical) to look at organs in the body. The tracer usually is a substance (such as glucose) that can be used (metabolized) by cells in the body.

During the test, the tracer liquid is put into a vein (intravenous, or IV) in your arm. The tracer moves through your body, where much of it collects in the specific organ or tissue. The tracer gives off tiny positively charged particles (positrons). The camera records the positrons and turns the recording into pictures on a computer.

Providence Health & Services provides you with the most accurate and complete information about your health by offering you the latest in diagnostic imaging technology. PET/CT offers two important ways of assessing your health in one 45-minute scan.

Proprietary Health Article


Answers to frequently asked questions about the PET/CT procedure.