Preparing for Your PET and Molecular Imaging Exam

Patients are requested to wear loose comfortable clothing for PET/CT and molecular imaging. Patients may be asked to wear a gown for the examination as well. Metallic objects such as jewelry, glasses, hearing aids, piercings, dental devices and metal containing bras may affect the quality of imaging. Patients may be asked to remove these items prior to imaging.

Patients having a PET/CT examination will also be given specific instructions regarding fasting prior to the exam. In patients with diabetes, additional instructions will be provided prior to the exam. Patients are also requested to refrain from strenuous exercise on the day prior to the scan and on the day of the scan.

Women should also inform the technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy.

In General:

  • Please plan on showing up 15 minutes prior to scheduled exam
  • Scan lengths will vary based on studies
  • Results will be given to the ordering physicians office within 24 hrs

Specific examples of common preparations are as follows:

  • Fasting (NPO – nothing by mouth) after midnight or NPO 4 hrs if scan is later in afternoon
    • PET/CT
    • HIDA Scan – gallbladder scan
    • Gastric Emptying Scan
    • Thyroid Scan
    • Cardiac Stress Test

No prep is needed for the following:

  • Bone Scan
  • Lung Scan – also known as V/Q Scan
  • Kidney Scan

PET/CT additional preparation information:

  • If diabetic please consult with doctor’s office or scheduling department for instructions
  • No strenuous exercise within 24 hours of study

Download a PDF of this information.