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Radiology Exam: Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan

Positron emission tomography (PET scan) is a specialized service in radiology using nuclear medicine. A PET scan creates images to show how well organs or tissues in the body are functioning. It is also used to look for the presence of disease or other conditions. 

PET scans are routinely used in combination with computerized tomography (CT). The study is commonly referred to as PET/CT scan. 

PET Scan: What You Need to Know

PET scan

  • PET scan is a nuclear medicine exam often used to help diagnose cancer, detect the spread of cancer to other parts of the body or measure the effectiveness of cancer treatment.
  • PET imaging is also used to diagnose diseases of the brain and heart such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, epilepsy, stroke or coronary artery disease.
  • PET may detect biochemical anatomical changes in an organ or tissue that can identify the onset of a disease process before those types of changes could be seen with other imaging methods.
  • The amount of radiotracers injected into your vein for a PET scan is small enough that there is no need for precautions against radioactive exposure.

Why Choose Johns Hopkins for a PET scan?

Our Physicians

Our radiologists with subspecialty training in nuclear medicine perform PET scans to access the structure and function of organs or systems within the body. Our state-of-the-art equipment and technology are combined with providing the highest level of patient care.

Find a Johns Hopkins radiologist who specializes in PET scans.


Our Locations

PET scans can be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of a hospital stay. To schedule an exam, call 443-997-7237Johns Hopkins Medicine offers this exam at the following locations:

Johns Hopkins Medical Imaging - Bethesda
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center


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