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Positron Emission Tomography Imaging



High Point Regional Health offers Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to complement other diagnostic services available at the hospital.

PET imaging facilitates the accurate, non-invasive detection and staging of cancer, as well as heart disease and neurological disorders. Although PET itself was developed in the late 1960's, it wasn’t until recently that it became recognized as an invaluable clinical test for tumor imaging. PET has unique capability to image functional processes, such as tumor metabolic activity, which often makes it possible for a physician to determine whether a tumor is malignant or benign. This capability means that in some cases, PET is a better clinical alternative than traditional anatomical imaging such as CT or MRI.

The PET scanner detects photons given off by a patient and constructs a three-dimensional image of glucose metabolism in the body. Whole-body PET images can be displayed in three image planes, helping pinpoint normal and abnormal processes. This provides clinicians with information that can’t be obtained by other imaging modalities.

Peer reviewed literature supports the use of PET in detection or staging of these types of cancer: solitary, pulmonary nodule, staging lung cancer, head and neck cancer, colorectal cancer, melanoma, lymphoma, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and other tumors.

Medicare covers PET imaging for characterization of solitary pulmonary nodules, staging of lung cancer, recurrent colorectal cancer, recurrent melanoma and staging lymphoma. Private payers pay for the above indications and other oncology neurology, and cardiac PET imaging studies.

If you have any other questions about PET and other diagnostic imaging services available at High Point Regional, please call (336) 878-6393.