Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Brain & Nervous System Health Center

Font Size

PET Scanner

h9991036.jpg

Photo courtesy of Siemens Medical Solutions. All rights reserved.

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a test that uses a special type of camera and a tracer (radioactive chemical) to look at organs in the body.

During the test, the tracer liquid is put into a vein in your arm. The tracer moves through your body, where much of it collects in the specific organ or tissues. The tracer gives off tiny positively charged particles (positrons). The camera records the positrons and turns the recording into pictures on a computer.

A PET scan may be used to look for cancer, check blood flow, or find out how well organs are working.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerHoward Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology
Last RevisedJuly 28, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 28, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

Depressed
Slideshow
3d scan of fractured skull
Slideshow
 
human brain waves
Article
brain maze
fitQuiz
 
senior man
Article
brain research briefing
Article
 
Syringe
Article
Vaccine and needle
VIDEO
 
mans hands on laptop keyboard
Article
brain illustration stroke
Slideshow
 
most common stroke symptoms
Article
Parkinsons Disease Medications
Article