Skip to Content

Committed to Safety: As we resume services, we are taking all necessary precautions to keep you safe while we care for you. Please note that visitor restrictions remain in place. Get more information on COVID-19.

PET scan

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a test that uses a special type of camera and a tracer (radioactive substance) to look at organs in the body.

During a PET scan, the tracer is typically injected into a vein (usually in the arm), but sometimes it may be inhaled. The tracer usually is a special form of a substance (such as glucose) that can be used (metabolized) by cells in the body.

A PET scan is often used to evaluate cancer, such as of the lung or colon. It also can be used to evaluate the heart's metabolism and blood flow and examine brain function.

PET scan pictures do not show as much detail as computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Wellness Matters

Subscribe to our Wellness Matters e-newsletter, a monthly snapshot of the some of great wellness content from Cone Health providers.

Subscribe Now

Health Library

  • PET scan