Radiology PET CT & CT SCAN

What is a PET/CT Scan and how does it work?

Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) is a non-invasive diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a radioactive tracer tagged to a form of sugar used by cells in the body for energy.  This radioactive “tracer”; a radionuclide or radioisotope, is injected by our PET/CT technologist and lights up areas of abnormally high uptake.  These bright spots on the PET/CT indicate changes in cellular metabolism while offering detailed anatomical images.

How to prepare for your PET/CT

  • Do not eat at least 4 hours prior to your exam.
  • Please arrive on time for your scheduled appointment.
  • For your comfort we advise you to wear loose fitting clothing without metal closures.
  • We ask that you choose clothing that is free of any metal (such as a sports bra) and leave all jewelry at home.
  • Please check in at Main desl, then proceed downstairs to the PET/CT Suite
  • One can have a seat in the PET/CT Suite Waiting Room, while we get a room ready for your scan.
  • The procedure requires an injection of a radioactive, sugar-based tracer
  • After the test, you are required to maintain a safe distance of 10 feet from both children and pregnant women.
  • The procedure will take about two hours.

What to expect during the PET/CT procedure?

  • Sugar test (simple finger stick) to ensure that your sugar level us below 200mg ldl
  • Injection of Radioactive Sugar-based isotope
  • Sit in one of our quiet rooms for one hour, watching TV
  • We will need you to void your bladder prior to the scan.
  • The scan should take about 30 mintes
  • During the scan, we will need you to stay still to ensure the best possible result

When and how do I get the results of my PET/CT?

  • Results will be available to the ordering physician 3 to 4 business days after your scan.
  • Please schedule a follow-up appointment with your Physician for results no sooner than 3 business days after your scan is completed.

What is a CT Scan?

Computed tomography, called CT or CAT scanning, is an x-ray system that uses a computer to take detailed images of your body. Pictures look like cross-sections or “slices” of the body.

How to prepare for your CT scan?

  • CT Scans of the Abdomen and Pelvis requires an Oral contrast
    • One (1) hour prior to appointment patients are asked to drink 1½ bottles of Oral Contrast.
      • Arrive one (1) hour early to start drinking.
      • Or pick up Oral Contrast ahead of time, at your office, to drink at home.
    • Patients are asked to save the last half of contrast. Technologist will inform you when to finish that last half.
    • Withhold food and drink 4hrs.
  • CT Scans ordered with IV Contrast
    • These scans require an IV injection of Iodinated Isovue Contrast.
    • Bloodwork within 60days required to unsure kidneys can tolerate the IV Contrast
    • We advise that patients drink 16oz. of water before and after the exam
    • Withhold food and drink 4hrs
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Metal objects can affect the images, so avoid clothing with zippers and snaps.
  • If you have had recent or prior CT scans elsewhere, please bring a CD copy for the radiologist to compare with the new scan.


What to expect during and after your procedure…

  •  Check in at Hudson Valley Cancer Center, main desk, and then proceed to the lower level PET/CT Suite waiting room.
  • CT Scans with IV Contrast require an IV site started.
  • Patient will be informed when to finish the last half of their Oral Contrast.
  • Patients will be positioned on the exam table with arms placed over head.
  • During the procedure a recording will instruct you to hold your breath.
  • CT Scans typically take about 20-25min.


When and how do I get the results of my CT Scan?

  • Results for CT Scans take about three business days.
  • Please schedule a follow-up appointment with your Physician for results–no sooner than three business days after your scan is completed.
  • Any question about scheduling your procedure or Exam preparation please call our Radiology Department at 845-454-1942 extension 7