What is Nuclear Medicine or PET Scan?
Nuclear Medicine studies including PET (Positron Emission Tomography) utilize a very small dose of a radiotracer or radioactive material that will help to better visualize the organ of interest on the camera. PET scans are performed in conjunction with CT scans referred to as a PET/CT exam. Scans using Nuclear Medicine or PET are performed as a non-invasive procedure to evaluate many disease processes. The radiotracer decays rapidly as well as being eliminated by the body through normal excretion resulting in minimal radiation exposure to the patient.
Preparing for a Nuclear Medicine or PET Exam
Some exams require fasting or to withhold taking certain medications prior to the exam. Information regarding specific preparations will be made available during the scheduling of the appointment as well as mailed prior to the exam. Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Casual attire without zippers, buttons, grommets or any metal is preferred.
What is a Bone Densitometry Scan?
Bone Densitometry or DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) scans provide physicians with an early diagnostic tool by which to determine whether osteoporosis treatment is needed. The patient that benefits most from this type of testing is early post-menopausal women.
During a comprehensive examination with DEXA, you will lay comfortably still on a padded table while the DEXA unit scans two of more areas, usually the fracture-prone hip and spine. Unlike typical X-ray machines, radiation exposure during bone densitometry is extremely low. The entire process takes 10-15 minutes to complete, depending on the number of sites scanned. It involves no injections or invasive procedures, and you may remain completely clothed.
Preparing for a Bone Densitometry Scan
Unless instructed otherwise, eat normally on the day of the exam, but avoid taking calcium supplements for at least 24 hours prior to your appointment. Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Casual attire without zippers, buttons, grommets or any metal are preferred. You should not have had a barium study, radio-isotope injection, oral or IV contrast material from a CT or MRI within seven days prior to your DEXA test.
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Radiology Information Help Desk-508-363-9384
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A Nuclear Medicine/PET or bone density exam requires a physician's order.