If you are experiencing a medical emergency please dial 911 immediately
Photo courtesy of Siemens Medical Solutions. All rights reserved.
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a test that uses a special type of camera and a tracer (radioactive chemical) to look at organs in the body.
During the test, the tracer liquid is put into a vein in your arm. The tracer moves through your body, where much of it collects in the specific organ or tissues. The tracer gives off tiny positively charged particles (positrons). The camera records the positrons and turns the recording into pictures on a computer.
A PET scan may be used to look for cancer, check blood flow, or find out how well organs are working.
Last Revised: July 14, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Howard Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.