PET
(positron emission tomography)

4 mm
minimum size of tumour that we are capable of diagnosing

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PET. Positron emission tomography. Diagnosis at the Clínica

PET (positron emission tomography) is a noninvasive diagnostic technique that creates images of the patient’s body, which show the activity and metabolism of the body’s organs.

Radioactively labelled substances are employed, which are distributed throughout the body during the procedure.

Cells that have greater metabolic activity (e.g., tumour cells) take up greater amounts of this material. When the PET is performed, an image is obtained that visualises these areas of greater uptake.

This is an outpatient test that does not require hospitalisation.

The Clínica was the first centre in Spain to have a PET-CT scanner, which helps detect lesions that until recently were practically impossible to identify.

Do you know more about Medicine Nuclear department [SP]?

With this new PET-CT scanner, together with the use of radiopharmaceuticals, we are able to detect lesions that until now were practically impossible to identify".

The Clínica has the first PET-CT installed in Spain.

This technology offers very high resolution and a high examination speed.

This PET scanner is used mainly for research, through its implementation in numerous clinical trials on oncologic and neurodegenerative diseases.

With this new PET-CT scanner, we are able to detect lesions that until now were practically impossible to identify with this type of equipment.

The scanner combines PET (positron emission tomography) and CT (conventional radiological computed axial tomography) technology. For the Clínica, which already had a PET-CT scanner with similar characteristics, the features of this new device significantly improve the possibilities for detecting tumour lesions.

Learn more about PET

PET is of considerable usefulness in the diagnosis and follow-up of cancers.

This test can be performed in combination with other imaging tests, such as CT, thereby providing highly detailed and complete information on the lesion being studied.

In addition to cancers, PET is indicated for heart and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. 

Some diseases on which this test is performed

PET is an outpatient procedure that does not require a hospital stay.

  • Labelled glucose (FDG) is injected into a peripheral vein. You must remain at rest for 1 hour.
  • The image capture lasts approximately half an hour. You must stay lying down on the bed during this time.
  • When arriving at the PET, a nurse will determine your blood glucose level (glycemia). If it is high, the nurse will administer insulin (subcutaneously or intravenously) in order to achieve appropriate blood glucose levels for implementing the test.
  • The test requires the administration of a muscle relaxant. It is therefore not advisable to drive after it has been administered.
  • You must NOT EAT during the 6 hours prior to the test. You may drink water.
  • Do not perform physical exercise in the hours prior to the test or chew gum or eat sweets.
  • Arrive at the visit in comfortable clothes.
  • If you regularly take medicine, you can take it with a little water.
  • If you have diabetes or any muscle disorder (for example, myasthenia gravis), you must report this to the nursing staff.
  • If you take medication with corticosteroids (Fortecortin®, Dacortin®, Dexamethasone®, etc.), you must report this to the nursing staff.
  • If you suspect that you are pregnant, you must report this on your arrival to your physician or nursing staff.
  • If you are currently breastfeeding, ask the nurse for instructions on how to proceed.
  • It is recommended that you increase your intake of liquids after the administration of the radioactive isotope to promote its elimination in urine.
  • You must be extra careful with hygiene after going to the toilet. You must wash your hands and ensure that you flush the toilet.
  • You may be accompanied by someone, but you must avoid close contact with pregnant women and young children for as long as indicated by the Nuclear Medicine nurse.
  • The administered examination dose does not cause any side effects or adverse reactions and will not prevent you from conducting your life as normal.
  • During the implementation of the test, you will not notice any discomfort.
  • If the patient is a child, they will be administered a small dose of FDG, adjusted for their weight. There is extensive experience in the clinical use of positron-emitting isotopes, during which no adverse effects have been observed.
  • Positron-emitting isotopes have not been shown to have any long-term effect on men in terms of fertility or on the health of the children they might have after the test.

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