Hoboken Radiology offers state-of-the-art technology in nuclear imaging with the introduction of the GE Healthcare Discovery PET/CT 690 Elite scanner, the latest in PET/CT systems with Time of Flight technology(TOF). Hoboken Radiology was the first facility in Hudson County to offer PET/CT and continues to provide patients throughout Northern New Jersey with the highest quality of care. It is the only Time of Flight PET/CT in Hudson County. It is also the only PET/CT that is ACR Accredited. As part of our quality control and concern for your well being, PET/CT scans are not only read by our highly trained Board Certified Radiologist, but are also overread by an expert in the field. PET/CT patients are thoroughly prepped by our courteous staff and receive our Administrator’s personal cell phone number to answer any questions or concerns they may have after normal business hours including weekends.
What is PET/CT?
PET/CT combines two machines into one. The PET component is used in gathering physiologic activity within the body while the CT component is used to attain anatomical information. The two components are then fused, creating one image. The result is greater diagnostic accuracy in localizing abnormalities within normal structures in the body compared to just PET or CT alone. Hoboken Radiology has also received ACR Accreditation for its utilization of PET-CT in patients with cancer to determine the location and extent of tumor growth and to aid in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, brain tumors and seizures. ACR Accreditation means that Hoboken Radiology meets the high standards established by the American College of Radiology.
PET/CT is used for the following types of imaging:
- Determine benign from malignant tumors
- Assess tumor growth and aggressiveness
- Detect distant metastases
- Detection of recurrent disease
- Monitor and determine success of therapy
- Determine bone metastasis (PET/CT Bone Scan)
Neurology (Brain Function)
- Diagnose Alzheimer’s disease
- Differentiate between different types of Dementia
PET/CT improves diagnostic confidence and can reduce the need for biopsies and unnecessary surgeries. Diagnoses can be made earlier, with greater accuracy allowing better treatment and planning in patient care. PET/CT scans are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies.
In Oncological applications, PET/CT scanning is performed by injecting the patient’s arm with a radioactive sugar (glucose) called FDG-18 (Fluorodeoxyglucose.) After waiting at least an hour to allow the sugar to circulate, the PET/CT scan is then administered. Cancerous cells are metabolically more active than normal cells, and therefore metabolize more sugar for energy. Because of this, cancer cells then appear as “hot-spots” compared to normal cells. The PET component measures these “hot-spots” while the CT component supplies anatomical reference points. Fusing the components together allows our Board Certified Radiologists to pinpoint the location of the abnormality.
In PET/CT Bone Scans, instead of utilizing FDG-18 (Fluorodeoxyglucose), patients are injected with Sodium Fluoride (F-18-NaF) due to its uptake ability within bone. After waiting at least 45 minutes to allow the Sodium Fluoride to circulate, the PET/CT Bone Scan is then performed. Bone Scans are performed to assist in the management of patients with or at risk of developing bone metastasis. Bone Metastasis is the process in which cancer cells from an original or primary tumor site break away and spread to a bone or bones. Lung, breast, prostate, thyroid and kidney cancer have a higher tendencies to metastasize to the bone. PET/CT Bone Imaging is more accurate than traditional Tc-99m Radionuclide Bone Imaging for both malignant and benign lesions of the skeleton due to its increased sensitivity and specificity. PET/CT Bone Imaging is a direct replacement technology for traditional Tc-99m Radionuclide Bone Imaging.
In Neurological applications, PET/CT scanning is performed by injecting the patient’s arm with a radioactive sugar (glucose) called FDG-18 (Fluorodeoxyglucose.) After waiting at least 30 minutes to allow the FDG to circulate, the PET/CT scan is then administered. Since the brain has a higher uptake of glucose for energy than other normal cells, the brain automatically appears as a large “hot-spot”. With Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia, certain parts of the brain are not as metabolically active as normal brain cells. Therefore our Board Certified Radiologists detect “cold-spots” compared to normal brain cell glucose uptake. The PET component detects these “cold-spots” while the CT component supplies anatomical reference points. Fusing the components together allows our radiologists to localize these abnormalities and determine whether they result from Alzheimer’s Disease, another form of dementia, or normal brain aging.
PET/CT improves diagnostic confidence and can reduce the need for biopsies and unnecessary surgeries. Diagnoses can be made earlier, with greater accuracy allowing better treatment and planning in patient care. PET/CT scans are covered by Medicare and private insurance companies.
About The Procedure
Prior to your scheduled appointment, you will be contacted by our staff and given the prep for the scan. Free transportation is available if needed. On the day of your exam you will be asked to fill out some forms. After reviewing your medical history, our highly trained technician will inject you with a contrast agent (FDG-18 or F-18-NaF) and instruct you to rest, minimizing any type of physical activity. The resting period (or uptake time) varies depending on the type of PET/CT Scan being administered. After resting you will be asked to lie flat on a PET/CT table which will then move towards the specific areas of the body that are being examined. During the exam you will be able to see out of either end of the scanner as well as in between as you are never fully enclosed with our open designed PET/CT. The technologist will be in communication with you via a two-way microphone as you are constantly visually monitored throughout the exam. Scan time on the table is approximately 30 minutes, but total exam time can range anywhere from 2 to 3 hours – allowing time for the computer to generate the images as well as preparation time for the patient and contrast uptake. After the exam you will be helped off the table and given juice. The exam is then read by one of our Board Certified Radiologists, overread by our PET/CT Specialist and a report is generated and forwarded to your physician.