PET/CT Patient Information

PT-CT_scanSilver Cross Hospital enhanced our diagnostic imaging capabilities with the addition of a new, state-of the-art Positron Emission Tomography/Computerized Tomography system (PET/CT). This advanced technology, which is now located inside the Hospital’s Imaging Department, offers early and highly accurate detection of cancer.

Silver Cross Hospital is ACR Accredited for PET for 3 years.

What is a PET/CT Scan?

PET is an acronym for
Positron Emission Tomography.
PET is
a test that uses special imaging cameras
and a radioactive type of sugar to produce
pictures of the function.
CT stands for Computerized
Tomography. CT is an X-ray test
that generates a detailed view of the
anatomy of structure of organs and
tissues in the body. The CT scan
canshow the dimension of vessels,
lymph nodes and organ systems.
A PET/CT can depict both
technologies using a single machine.
It provides a picture of function
(PET), a picture of anatomy (CT),
and a merged picture of both the
body’s metabolism and structure.

Preparing for Your PET/CT Exam

There are strict preparation guidelines for all patients, especially diabetics, regarding what you can eat or drink before your exam. If you have questions regarding your preparation, contact the Nuclear Medicine Department at (815) 300-7058 for instructions.

Guidelines for all Patients include:

  • Drink plain water - No other type of liquid is allowed.
  • Do not eat anything for six (6) hours prior to our exam.
  • Take your regularly scheduled medicine before arriving (if you can tolerate it on an empty stomach).
  • Dress warmly and comfortably.
  • If you are diabetic, eat a small meal six (6) hours prior to your exam. It is critical that you follow all preparation guidelines and ensure that your glucose levels are within normal limits or the exam will need to be rescheduled.
  • Hold metformin or any other oral diabetes medicine for the day of scan.
  • Hold Insulin for 4 hrs.
  • Turn off your Insulin Pump 2 hours prior to the exam.

Important: Please make every effort to keep your appointment. If you must cancel or reschedule, notify us at least 24 hours in advance. The FDG (sugar water with a radioactive tracer) used for your scan is prepared specifically for you and will have to be discarded if you fail to keep your appointment.

Consult your physician prior to your PET/CT scan if . . .

  • You are or may be pregnant
  • You are allergic to any food or drugs
  • You are currently being treated for an infection
  • You are unsure if you should take your medications
  • You have had recent radiation therapy

What to Expect

During the Exam:
You will receive a small injection of FDG (sugar water with a radioactive tracer). You will sit or lie down on a comfortable chair or bed for approximately 1 hour while the FDG travels throughout your body.

After this time, the technologist will assist you to the scanner. The CT portion of the exam is completed first, followed by the PET portion.

It is important that you don’t move for the duration of the exam. The length of the exam is determined by your height and area of the body being scanned. When the total scan is finished, the computers will produce images for the radiologist to review.

After the Exam:
Once the total scan has been performed, you may resume daily activity. Even though the FDG will quickly leave your body, you can expedite the process by drinking plenty of water after your scan is complete.

The reading physician will contact your referring physician to communicate all pertinent information from your scan. Then your referring physician will contact you to share the results.

You will not be able to care for your children or pregnant women for the remainder of the day.

Benefits of PET/CT

PET/CT helps physicians diagnose, stage and treat cancer with more accuracy than ever before. The exam can provide answers to the following critical questions:
  • Where is the tumor?
  • Is it spreading?
  • How large is it?
  • What is the optimal therapy?
  • Is the therapy working?
  • Is there a recurrence?

Other potential benefits include:

  • Improved diagnostic confidence for patients who have or may have cancer.
  • Reduces the need for invasive procedures, like biopsy or surgery.
  • Helps avoid the “wait and see” method, often used to monitor potential disease.
  • Monitors patients’ response to treatment to ensure the treatment is working.

PET/CT exams offer greater peace of mind for patients and their families.


Use the Hospital entrance and proceed to the Guest Services Lounge. Complimentary valet parking is available.

Nuclear Medicine Department
Phone: (815) 300-7058
Fax: (815) 300-4455

Information to download:

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment for an imaging test, call 815-300-7076 or schedule your test online.

Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.