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PET-CT in diseases of the brain

Cerebral metabolism in Alzheimer's disease; The green areas indicate the reduced metabolism

Cerebral metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease; The green areas indicate the reduced metabolism

PET/CT is currently the most advanced imaging method relating to the diagnosis of dementia and other brain disorders. It combines the advantages of positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) in a single device. The PET can show us the brain metabolism, whereas the CT locates pathological structures.

PET/CT can detect dementia or other brain diseases, even before MRI can detect any damage of the brain tissue. An early diagnosis is particularly important in the case of the incurable Alzheimer’s dementia, because only timely therapy can slow the disease progress. PET/CT can also recognize diseases like Parkinson, even before the patient has complaints.

The PET/CT examination is thus the most precise and modern imaging method to detect different kinds of dementia (Alzheimer’s disease, Pick’s disease, Lewy-body dementia, vascular dementia) in an early stage, to localize tumour recurrence in the brain and to search for structural equivalents of epileptic seizures.

 

Examination procedure

After a short period of about fifteen minutes’ rest, a low-radiation marker substance will be injected. This substance will accumulate in the brain shortly after the injection.

The tracer substances are very well tolerated; allergic reactions are not known. The radiation dose/ [load] is low and is quickly degraded.

After the injection of the substance, you relax for about half an hour in a relaxation room. We will then record PET/CT images of your brain, which takes about ten minutes.

During recording you will lie on a narrow examination table, that slides into and out of the round whole of the PET/CT unit. The opening is quite large and the tunnel is so short that you do not have to feel constricted. The measurement proceeds almost noiselessly.

The examination takes approximately two hours.

 

Preparation before and after the examination

Please do not eat at least 7 hours before the examination.

Please drink enough water or unsweetened tea before the examination.

You can take your medication as usual, however we kindly ask you to bring a list of your medications.

Please, do also bring the results of all preliminary examinations. Particularly important are findings and images (slides, prints or CD) of the last CT and MRI examinations.

The radiotracer is individually ordered for each patient and is not storable (the costs run several hundred euros). Hence we kindly ask you to always keep your appointment on time and if for any reason you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment please do this at least two days in advance.

People with diabetes should contact us by calling 0611-577519.

The examination results will be sent to the attention of your treating physician as soon as possible. He will then contact you to discuss the results as well as the possibility of a treatment.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you have any further questions!