Positron Emission Tomography, Various Sites (Brain, Heart, Pelvis)

Positron Emission Tomography, Various Sites (Brain, Heart, Pelvis) is a topic covered in the Davis's Lab & Diagnostic Tests.

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Synonym/Acronym:
PET scan.

Rationale
To assess blood flow and metabolic processes at the site of interest, to assist in diagnosis of disorders such as ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, cancer, and to evaluate head trauma (head/brain); coronary artery disease, infarct, and aneurysm (chest/thorax, heart, vascular system); colorectal tumor, to assist in tumor staging, and monitor the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions (pelvis).

Patient Preparation
There are no activity restrictions unless by medical direction. Instruct the patient to restrict food for 4 hr; restrict alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine-containing drinks for 24 hr; and withhold medications for 24 hr before the test. Protocols may vary among facilities.

Normal Findings

  • Normal patterns of tissue metabolism, blood flow, and homogeneous radionuclide distribution.

Critical Findings and Potential Interventions

Brain

  • Aneurysm
  • Cerebrovascular accident
  • Tumor with significant mass effect

Timely notification to the requesting health-care provider (HCP) of any critical findings and related symptoms is a role expectation of the professional nurse. A listing of these findings varies among facilities.

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