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Pet CT

Pet/CT Scanning in Monticello

PET/CT scanning is an effective way to find early signs of disease and cancer before the symptoms start to manifest. This imaging technique is a combination of nuclear medicine and CT scanning. These scans track molecular activity in the body that helps doctors identify premature diseases and track how a patient is responding to various kinds of treatments. By reviewing the patient’s use of oxygen, metabolism, and blood flow, doctors can identify areas where there is increased glucose activity. Once these spots are pinpointed, doctors closely monitor them to see if tumors develop. We provide PET/CT Scanning on Wednesday afternoons performed by Shared Medical.

How Does it Work?

A radioactive isotope “tracer” is introduced into the body. This can be done through an injection, swallowing the material, or inhaling a special gas. The method required varies depending on what part of the body is being imaged. Once the tracer has reached the designated part of the body, the technologist will perform a CT scan followed by a PET scan. The amount of time scanning takes varies, with simpler tests lasting only 30 minutes, while more in-depth tests can go up to three hours.

PET/CT scans can be used for:

  • Cancer diagnosis
  • Determining if cancer has spread
  • Finding tumors
  • Evaluating brain damage or abnormalities
  • Monitoring effectiveness of cancer treatments

PET/CT scans are painless and safe. Patients are exposed to slight radiation exposure, but the amount is comparable to a standard x-ray. These scans have been in use for over 50 years, and to date there are no known long term side effects. If you have recently undergone other diagnostic tests from other medical professionals, be sure to inform your doctor. It can be dangerous to have several radioactive diagnostic tests performed back to back.


If you had the test performed as an outpatient (without being admitted to a hospital), you will probably be allowed to go home once the technologist has confirmed the test was successful. The radiation dose given stays in the body for a short time period and is quickly eliminated with fluid intake following the exam. After a radiologist has interpreted the results of the test, they will forward their findings to your doctor.

For more information on PET/CT tests, call 217-762-1826. Kirby Medical Center is staffed by knowledgeable medical professionals who will be happy to assist you.