When both the physical and functional details of an organ or system are needed for an accurate diagnosis, it used to demand two separate tests, Positron Emission Tomography, or PET, a nuclear medicine that measures metabolic activity within the body, and Computed Tomography, or CT, which is an advanced x-ray system that provides multiple cross-sectional images to deliver a nearly 3-D outline of the body part or area being investigated. PET delivers extensive information about elements like oxygen use, blood flow and glucose metabolism, which provide important information about organ and tissue function. “PET is especially helpful in diagnosing certain types of cancers and eliminating Alzheimer’s disease as a cause of cognitive impairment,” says Dr. Malcolm Williamson, a specialist in diagnostic radiology and neuroradiology. “CT compliments that information by capturing a rapid succession of multiple images for an impressively detailed rendering of the anatomy being examined, capturing lesions, pre-cancers, tumors, injuries and other abnormalities more completely and accurately than traditional x-ray.”
Advances in technology now enable both tests to be performed at once for greater accuracy than the tests offer when performed separately, not to mention greater convenience for the patient. PET/CT unites both functional and anatomical information needed for your Board Certified RAO Radiologist to formulate an accurate diagnosis and, when necessary, for your clinician to plan an appropriate course of treatment.
“PET/CT harmonizes anatomic details with physiologic information to help us pinpoint metabolic abnormalities, giving us more information about the location of disease and how it affects various systems,” says Dr. Fredric Wollett, who specializes in diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine and breast imaging. “We can also use PET/CT to help stage and monitor the success of treatments for diseases like breast, colon and lung cancer, along with many others.”
Always at the forefront of the most advanced technologies, RAO utilizes the renowned Siemen’s biograph PET/CT, which produces highly detailed and comprehensive representations of tissues and processes to promote accurate diagnoses and quicker localization of disease. “PET/CT helps us capture pre-cancerous and cancerous cells throughout the body, including the lungs, colon, lymph nodes, ovaries, testicles, and a wide range of other organs and systems,” says Dr. Ralf Barckhausen, who specializes in diagnostic radiology and neuroradiology. “We also use PET/CT to identify and monitor seizure disorders and distinguish Alzheimer’s from other diseases causing cognitive problems. Since more than 20% of cognitive impairment cases are misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s, many patients receive the wrong treatment, which can be a tragic error, since many cognitive impairment problems respond favorably to the right therapies. It’s my medical opinion that many people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s should undergo a PET/CT scan to ensure the diagnosis was accurate.”
RAO’s team of Board Certified radiologists includes nine PET/CT specialists and the area’s only 16-slice PET/CT scanner with the newest LSO crystal, providing state-of-the-art speed and precision. Also of note, RAO maintains ongoing accreditation in both PET and CT diagnostic testing from the American College of Radiology, ensuring the highest level of safety and accuracy. All PET/CT images are digitally stored for instant sharing with your clinician, all Marion County hospitals, and RAO’s outpatient centers to ensure rapid coordinated care. RAO’s experience, exceptional service and unwavering commitment to accuracy have made RAO a local leader in diagnostic imaging for 45 year and counting.
For the best in PET/CT services, talk to your clinician about the experience and state-of-the-art technologies available at RAO’s Medical Imaging Center at Windsor Oaks.