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- Glossary Term -

PET Scan

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that helps reveal how your tissues
and organs are functioning. A PET scan uses a radioactive drug (tracer) to show this activity.
This scan can sometimes detect disease before it shows up on other imaging tests.
The tracer may be injected, swallowed or inhaled, depending on which organ or tissue is being
studied. The tracer collects in areas of your body that have higher levels of chemical activity,
which often correspond to areas of disease. On a PET scan, these areas show up as bright spots.
A PET scan is useful in revealing or evaluating several conditions, including many cancers, heart
disease and brain disorders. Often, PET images are combined with CT or MRI scans to create
special views.

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