Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
(845) 279-5711, Ext. 2428/242
Hours of Outpatient Testing
Fridays: 8 AM to 4 PM
Putnam Hospital Center – Main Hospital Registration
Arnold Newman, MD
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) provides an additional level of imaging technology that allows doctors to evaluate the metabolic activity of abnormal cells, such as a tumor. Unlike MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and CT (Computed Tomography) which provide primarily anatomic information, PET evaluates chemical changes that may occur in the body before visible signs of disease are present on an MRI or CT scan.
The non-invasive and safe PET scan uses short-lived radioisotopes to measure metabolic activity. It is especially helpful in the diagnosis of cancers, but can also be useful for the assessment of neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer's Disease.
A PET scanner looks like a CT scanner. The scan takes approximately one hour. Preparation for the test requires the patient to fast for four hours, and to be at the hospital for about four hours.
The sophisticated PET/CT technology is available at Putnam Hospital Center and provides the power of both PET and CT together. A large mobile van containing the unit comes to the hospital on Fridays, and parks behind the Emergency Department parking lot. It can do scans on about 10 patients in one visit.
Doctors from Putnam Hospital Center's Radiology Department review and evaluate the PET/CT Scans, and have had continuing education on using the technology to meet the standards set by the American College of Radiology.