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Nuclear Medidicine Preparation Instructions

By following the instructions below carefully that apply to your specific exam, you help us to ensure the best possible diagnostic quality.

CHECK IN: Sletten Cancer Institute: 1117 29th Street South.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine procedure that produces pictures of the body's metabolic functions. PET is capable of detecting certain diseases before other imagaing modalities such as CAT scans and MRI's because PET is able to capture chemical and physiological changes related to metabolism, as opposed to gross anatomy and structure, which is obtained by CT and MRI. This is important since functional changes are often present before structural changes in tissues. PET images may therefore demonstrate pahological changes long before they would be evident in CT and MRI

An appointment time has been especially reserved for you. YOU MUST CALL UT (406) 731-8576 TO CONFIRM YOUR APPOINTMENT. Due to the cost of the isotope, we will not order your dose unless we have verbal confirmation from you. Please arrive on time to allow for registration, glucose testing and isotope injection. The isotope is created specifically for you and is flown in the day of your exam, and is therefore, quite expensive. Should you miss your appointment without giving 24 hours notice, you waill be billed for the missed isotope.

Before the Exam:

You are asked not to eat or drink anything 4 hours before the study (this includes NO gum, breath mints etc.) You may however, have water up to the time of your appointment. You may take any prescribed medications on the day of the exam unless instructed otherwise by your physician. Please wear comfortable clothes and leave all valuables at home. Females: do not wear a bra with an underwire or it will have to be removed before the exam. Please avoid wearing earrings and necklaces, and if possible wear clothing without zippers, metal buttons or snaps; elastic waist pants work best. Avoid strenuous activity 24 hours in advance of your study. Dinner the night before and breakfast the morning of your exam should consist of high protein, low carbohydrate diet. (i.e. NO pasta, bread or sugar).

During the Exam:

Before the scan you will be injected through an IV with a radioactive tracer. This tracer is a compound of complex sugars labeled with a short-lived radioisotope. You will be asked to rest for approximately 45 minutes while the radioactive compound travels throughout your body. The technologist will ask you to lie on the scanning table, which will slowly pass through the scanner. The PET scanner detects and records the signals the tracer emits. The signals are then reassembled into actual images through the use of a computer. Scanning time varies, but it is approximately 30 minutes. You should plan on at least 2 hours for the entire exam.

After the Exam:

You should feel fine, as there are no side effects resulting from the injected tracer. The images will then be processed for interpretation by the reading radiologist. These results are NOT immediately available. The radiologist will contact your physician to convey all pertinent information ascertained from the scan. Please call only your referring physician for test results.

PET Scan Eating Instructions: Low Carbohydrate / High Protein Diet

Acceptable Foods:

  • Meat: includes chicken, turkey, red meats, fish, pork (bacon / sausage)
  • Cheeses: includes most hard / soft cheeses
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable: most green leafy veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans (avoid root vegetables i.e. squash, beets, carrots, potatoes)
  • Dairy: half-and-half, heavy cream, butter

Foods to AVOID:

  • Sugar (i.e. cookies, cake, pie etc.)
  • Dairy: milk, coffee creamer with sugar
  • Fruit (naturally high in sugar
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Breakfast cereals, oatmeal

IF IN DOUBT READ THE LABEL: avoid any food that is high in carbohydrates or sugar.

No food, liquids, or pain medication after midnight prior to the exam. If you have any questions please contact Nuclear Medicine at (406) 731-8576.

No preparation instructions. The patient will receive an injection in the morning and then return for the scan, which will take approximately 20 minutes.

No food or liquids after midnight prior to the exam. This procedure which will take approximately 4 hours.

No IV/X-ray contrast for 6 weeks prior to procedure. If you are on Thyroid medications, please call Benefis Nuclear Medicine at (406) 731-8576.

Patients can eat up to 4 hours prior to exam but NO caffeine (not even decaffeinated beverages) 24 hours in advance. Please consult with your referring physician about any medications you should not take prior to the exam. This procedure which will take approximately 1.5 hours.

No preparation instructions. This procedure which will take approximately 30 minutes.

No preparation instructions. This procedure which will take approximately 1 hour. The patient will need a chest X-ray within 24 hours of the scan.