Positron emission tomography / PET scan


The positron emission tomography is an imaging technique based on the principle of scintigraphy, and belongs to the field of nuclear medicine.
The patient will get an injection into his or her vein that contains a radioactive substance, which then accumaltest in the patient’s body during a short waiting time. Then, computer tomography measures the radiation.
Thus, the biochemical and physiological function of a particular organ can be determined. (Other imagine techniques, like MRI or CT, can only reveal the structure, but not the function.)
In case of cranio-cervical instability, the brain metabolism is measured, and a potential dysfunction due to a possible lack of blood circulation could be detected.

However, whether to do a PET scan or not should be considered carefully, because it has a rather high radiation exposure.

 

Informations:

http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=pet

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007341.htm