PET/CT for prostate imaging uses a very specific tracer called Axumin. Axumin collects in the area of the prostate and is detected by a special scanner which creates computerized images. PET/CT combines two scanning techniques into one exam. PET (Positron Emission Tomography) shows different functions in the body, such as cell activity; while a CT (Computed Tomography) scan shows detailed body anatomy. Axumin will help your provider to determine if you have a recurrence of prostate cancer.
Please allow extra time for this exam to be scheduled, as it requires a prior authorization from your insurance company. Due to the specialized nature of the Axumin tracer, the prior authorization will take more time than other imaging studies. A member of our scheduling team will contact you once the prior authorization has been received.
The Axumin tracer is ordered and formulated specifically for you. For this reason, we require notification at least 48 hours in advance if you need to reschedule or cancel your exam.
• Avoid any significant exercise for at least 24 hours prior to your exam.
• Do not eat or drink for at least 4 hours (other than small amounts of water for taking medications) prior to the administration of Axumin.
• Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing and avoid jewelry, zippers and snaps.
• Arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time for registration.
• Bring your insurance card and a valid photo ID.
Your exam will take approximately 30 minutes.
You may be asked to change into a gown, and you will have a brief discussion with the technologist. An intravenous line (IV) will be started in your arm. The technologist will inject the Axumin tracer into the IV.
You will then enter the scanning room, and you will lie on a cushioned moveable table. The table will move slowly through the machine during the scan. The scan is painless and lasts approximately 30 minutes.
The imaging technologist will be outside of the room and is immediately available at all times. You will remain in full view of the technologist, who will provide instructions and information throughout the scan
You can leave immediately after your scan. You may drive, resume your normal diet, exercise and take all prescribed medications. Your activity will not be restricted, however as an extra precaution, avoid getting close to an infants, children or pregnant women for the rest of the day due to the FDG that was injected. Be sure to drink lots of fluids to flush the remaining sugar out of your system.
Your images will be interpreted by one of our board-certified radiologists. The findings will be sent to your healthcare provider, who will then contact you to discuss the results.
1. PET image 2. CT image 3. PET/CT combined image