Pet and MRI are two majorly efficient radioactive imaging techniques used to diagnose many different life-threatening diseases. Recently, these two imaging techniques have been combined to give a better picture of the organs being scanned, which in turn has helped the medical fraternity to diagnose diseases like cancer better and faster.

PET MRI scan procedure

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is an imaging technique where a biological radioactive substance is mixed with glucose and then injected into the patient. The radioactive glucose molecules spread in the body and show a standard pattern except in areas having abnormalities possibly due to cancerous cells. Since the cancer cells multiply rapidly, they consume more glucose. Hence, the radioactive glucose molecules get concentrated in problematic areas.

The scanner detects the high degree of radiation in these areas. These areas are identified by virtue of the intensity, direction and the angle of radiation and are picked up by the scanner in a 3D format. This information is fused with an MRI scan to obtain the precise location of cancer in the body.

PET confirms the presence of cancerous cells and PET plus MRI tells us the specificity and extent of cancer. Combined PET and MRI is an emerging technology that aims to capitalize on the inherent advantages of MRI, including increased soft tissue contrast and lack of ionizing radiation exposure.

PET MRI scan preparation

  • Six hours before the scan, the patient should not consume any food or liquid except water.
  • The patient is advised to have a limited carbohydrate diet prior to the fasting period.
  • Regular medicines or diabetic prescription are to be taken in consultation with the doctor.
  • To obtain a better image, a contrast may be injected along with the isotope through the vein.
  • MRI scans get affected by certain types of metals. Hence, a patient having certain metal implants may not be put under MRI scan.
  • The patient must clarify this aspect with the doctor beforehand. Also, all pieces of jewelry should be removed.

Does PET MRI scan have any side effects?

Since PET uses a very small quantity of the radioactive glucose tracer, its adverse effect on a human body is minimal when compared to its advantages in the diagnosis of major medical conditions. Patients allergic to iodine or aspartame/saccharin should intimate the doctor. Since radiations have adverse effects on pregnancy, pregnant women or women suspecting pregnancy should not undergo the test. Lactating mothers should breastfeed only after 24 hours of the PET MRI scan.

PET MRI scan cost

PET MRI reduces overall radiation exposure significantly. This makes it very safe for children and for patients undergoing repeated scanning for monitoring of treatment. The advantage of the PET MRI scanning is its superior quality images with better soft tissue contrast. Other than its application in cancer, PET MRI plays a major role in understanding various disease processes in cardiology and neurology.

All this makes PET MRI scan slightly costlier than a PET CT scan. The whole body PET MRI scan may cost anything between RS 35,000 to RS 55,000 depending upon case severity and types of tracer molecules used or the city of scanning. Bookmyscans however, ensures that the patient gets the best facility at an optimum price. The price offered by Bookmyscan is less by 50% when compared with the market price.

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