Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

Overview

Positron emission tomography (PET) is an imaging technique that uses radioactive substances injected into patients to provide images of the body using specialized scanners. These PET images provide information about the function and metabolism of the body's organs, in contrast to computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which show the body's anatomy and structure. PET is used mainly to study patients with cancer, heart disease, and neuropsychiatric diseases.

PET at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a large, state-of-the-art facility. It has three medical cyclotrons and ten hot cells to produce positron-labeled radiopharmaceuticals as well as four PET scanners. There is a large dedicated team of physicians, scientists, cyclotron engineers, radiochemists, radiopharmacists, and nuclear medicine technologists staffing the Department. Patients from several NIH Institutes receive PET scans in the Department through a large number of clinical research protocols.

PET is a research facility for the NIH intramural research program. All PET activities and services support intramural research.

Our challenge is to utilize resources efficiently and to encourage maximum involvement and professional development while exceeding the expectations of our investigators and their patients; our staff; and the public.

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This page last updated on 06/13/2017

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