Your doctor has suggested you have a PET/CT scan of your heart as part of the evaluation at National Jewish. A PET scan is a shortened name for positron emission tomography. A PET scan views functioning tissues in the body. A CT or CAT scan is a shortened name for computerized tomography. A CT scan takes pictures of the inside of the body. The pictures are more detailed than a typical x-ray. The type of PET/CT scan your doctor recommended will show detailed images and functioning tissues of your heart.
The PET/CT scan can help determine if sarcoidosis has affected your heart. Your doctor will use this information to determine the best treatment for you.
Preparing for the Test
- Avoid carbohydrate sources for 24 hours prior to this test. This includes all starches such as potatoes, rice, bread, fruit and fruit juices, chips, alcohol, etc.
- Meat, eggs, and cheese are good protein choices.
- Do not eat or drink anything 6 hours before the test is scheduled. Water only is permitted. Eating or drinking liquids other than water within this time frame will compromise your test and we will need to reschedule your procedure.
- Please contact the PET/CT department if you have diabetes or if your blood glucose level runs above 120 mg/dL (certain corticoid steroids such as Prednisone may influence your blood glucose level). We may need to reschedule your appointment. (PET/CT department: 303.398.1683)
- Let the technologist know if you are pregnant or nursing.
During the Test
The technologist will explain the PET/CT scan to you before you start. Ask questions if you do not understand. The technologist will start an IV in your arm.
A small blood sample will be collected to test your blood glucose level (If your blood glucose level is above 120 mg/dL we may need to reschedule your procedure).
You will be given a small amount of a radiotracer. This will help view the functioning tissues of the heart during the scan. You will wait 45-60 minutes after you are given the radiopharmaceutical. You will relax in a recliner. Reading, cell phone use, etc. is not permitted during this time.
After 45-60 minutes you will have the PET/CT scan. The PET/CT does not hurt. During the scan you will lie on a padded table. The technologist will give you instructions during the test. You will be asked to raise your arms above your head during the scan.
The scan will last 10 minutes.
After the Test
You can resume normal activities after the PET/CT scan.
Length of the Test
A PET/ CT scan takes about 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours.
Day of the Test
Your appointment is in the Institute for Advanced Biomedical Imaging (Radiology). You will be directed where to go when you check-in. If you have any questions you can contact Advanced Biomedical Imaging (Radiology) at 303.398.1611.
This information has been approved by Will Cook, ARRT, MA and Eric Yager, ARRT, BS (August 2014).