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PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is a revolutionary technology used in the evaluation and monitoring of certain types of cancer and some brain and cardiac disorders. PET works by creating powerful images of the biological functions of the human body to reveal disease states. To create these images, compounds like simple sugars (glucose, for example) are labeled with signal-emitting tracers and injected into the patient. A scan records the signals these tracers emit as they travel through the human body and collect in the various organs targeted for examination. A computer reassembles the signals into actual images, resulting in unique pictures that show biological causes of normal organ function and failure of organ systems in disease.


At Lubbock Imaging Center, we're using a unique open PET/CT from Philips that allows us to perform separate PET and CT exams as well as combined PET/CT scans with the push of a button.

PET evaluates the chemical and physiological changes related to metabolism. Since functional changes occur long before the structural damage is done to tissues, this is a crucial advantage that allows detection of disease well before other imaging modalities. In some instances, early detection and treatment can have a major impact on patient outcomes.

Moreover, the integration of metabolic data from PET and anatomical data from CT allows clinicians to better view the structural detail, location of and changes in tissue. This fusion of PET and CT is invaluable asset in treatment planning.

Also, a single PET/CT scan can give information about the functioning of the entire body. This is critical in many instances, especially in oncology where additional tumors and the spread of disease are sometimes discovered. The replacement of multiple tests is also a great convenience for patients and physicians, as the extent of disease is established more quickly and with greater confidence.

In summary, the key benefits of PET/CT are:

  • Safe, non-invasive diagnostic procedure
  • Detailed diagnostic information not available from independent CT and MRI tests
  • Complete full body PET/CT scan in one exam means shorter time for definitive diagnosis
  • Early detection of disease with fewer invasive diagnostic procedures
  • Improved staging of the disease and better monitoring of cancer recurrences
  • More effective tracking of the results of treatment therapy
  • Less extensive surgeries and avoidance of some surgeries
  • Open GEMINI gantry promotes patient acceptance and comfort
  • GEMINI system enables independent operation of stand alone PET or CT for increased facility productivity and flexibility
  • Lowers overall cost of care


Lubbock Imaging Center installed a PET/CT scanner to further meet the needs of its referring physicians. This sophisticated piece of diagnostic equipment now provides more accurate small tumor detection for oncologists and surgeons.

Click on the menu item "Physician Information" for more information about PET indications.

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