Radiology has continued to excel throughout the years, making medical imaging safer, faster and more accurate than ever before. Landmark advances have included Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computed Tomography (commonly known as CT or “Cat Scan”). At Radiology Associates of Ocala (RAO), we understand the value of these two technologies and offer them together in one of the most complete and advanced diagnostic systems ever created, the PET/CT scan.
A PET scan is a type of nuclear medicine used to diagnose a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers and Alzheimer’s, and certain other abnormalities within the body. It analyzes and measures important body functions such as blood flow, oxygen use and sugar, to help doctors evaluate how well organs and tissues are functioning. CT creates images in rapid succession, allowing 2- and 3-dimensional views, or “slices,” of organs and structures, providing excellent anatomic information.
The combination of these two imaging modalities has proven to provide more accurate diagnoses than when used on their own.
By combining the PET scan, which detects biochemical activity and changes in the body, with the anatomic imaging of the CT scan, the experienced radiologists of RAO can create multi-dimensional images that allow for exceptional localization of pre-cancerous, cancerous and certain other diseased cells of the skin, lungs, colon, head and neck, breasts, ovaries, lymph nodes, testicles, thyroid, pancreas and esophagus, even in their earliest stages. In neurology, PET/CT is used to localize activity in patients with seizure disorders, evaluate stroke damage, and differentiate Alzheimer’s from other diseases, among others.
Not only is PET/CT considerably more complete and accurate than either test alone, it offers far greater patient comfort and convenience since both scans are done simultaneously in one visit. Because the tests complete each other using different but complimentary information, they are used together to heighten the probability of early detection and reduce the chances of stressful false alarms. Since 63% of all patients with positive PET scans will require a new CT scan, and 50% of all cancer treatments are altered as a result of PET results, it makes sense to take advantage of the added accuracy, confidence and convenience both tests can offer in a single session.
When treatment is required, PET/CT provides a solid foundation for the fast, accurate planning of targeted therapy. Because the images are digitally stored, they can be instantly shared with your primary care physician, specialist, and all Marion County hospitals and RAO outpatient centers to ensure the most rapid and well-coordinated medical care.
RAO’s diagnostic team of 17 Board-certified radiologists includes 5 PET/CT specialists and the area’s only 16-slice PET/CT scanner with the newest LSO crystal. We also specialize in breast imaging, musculoskeletal radiology, neuroradiology and vascular and interventional radiology.
For the optimum in PET/CT diagnostic services, ask your doctor to refer you to RAO and discover the difference technology combined with experience can make.
Radiology Associates of Ocala P.A.
(352) 671-4300 | www.RAOcala.com