PET stands for Positron Emission Tomography. A PET/CT scanner is an integrated device containing both a CT scanner and a PET scanner with a single patient table. PET images are created after intravenous injection of a tiny amount radioactive glucose called FDG. Glucose is taken up by all cells in the body, but is taken up to a greater degree by tissue with high metabolic activity such as cancer. FDG PET is also useful in the evaluation of certain neurologic conditions in the brain by identifying specific areas of decreased metabolism, and in the heart by evaluating the viability of heart muscle tissue.

CT is a tomographic imaging technique that uses an x-ray beam to produce detailed anatomic images. The anatomic information provided by CT is combined with the metabolic information provided by FDG PET into a single imaging examination. The PET/CT exam is interpreted by a highly skilled radiologist with training and expertise using state-of-the-art computer technologies. For more information click here.

Prep Instructions

  1. Arrive at the specified time to allow for registration and exam preparation.
  2. Notify us upon arrival of any special needs or allergies.
  3. Bring insurance card and authorization or worker’s comp information.
  4. Plan to pay required co-pays at the time of service.
  5. Bring a picture ID.
  6. Wear comfortable clothing.

To insure the highest quality procedure in a safe environment, we are unable to provide child care services for you at the time of your examination. Please do not bring unattended children to the imaging center.

Cell phones are not permitted in the suite.


Additional PET Prep Instructions

Prior to the Exam

  1. Regarding Medications – follow instruction given by IHS staff
  2. Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your exam
  3. Do not eat breath mints or chewing gum
  4. Please call to confirm your appointment 24-48 hours prior to your PET exam at (866) 558-4320

Arrival Time

  1. Please arrive 1/2 hour prior to your scheduled appointment
  2. Bring your insurance card
  3. Bring any previous medical imaging studies performed elsewhere (CT, MRI, X-RAYs)

Duration of Study

  1. Allow 3 hours for your PET study. There will be a 1-hour waiting time after injection, before the actual scanning. PET scanning itself takes about 30 minutes for a brain study, 60-90 minutes for a heart study, and 1-2 hours for a cancer study.


150 W. Washington St
San Diego, CA 92103

T 619 295 9729
F 866 558 4329

Hours of Operation:
M-F 8:00am-6:00pm

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North Coast Health Center
477 N. El Camino real
Suite A-102
Encinitas, CA 92024

T 760 452 7150
F 866 558 4329

Hours of Operation:                                                                                                                                  M-F 8:00am-6:00pm
Sat 8:30am-2:00pm

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