PET/CT combines the functional information from a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) exam with anatomical information from a Computed Tomography (CT) exam in one single exam.
A PET scan detects changes in cellular function specifically, how your cells are utilizing nutrients like sugar and oxygen. Since these functional changes take place before physical changes occur, PET can provide information that enables your physician to make an early diagnosis.
The advantage of CT is its ability to take cross-sectional images of your body. These are combined with the information from the PET scan to provide more anatomic details of the metabolic changes in your body.
The PET exam pinpoints metabolic activity in cells and the CT exam provides an anatomical reference. When these two scans are fused together, your physician can view metabolic changes in the proper anatomical context of your body.