Positron emission tomography (PET) is an imaging modality for accurately determining regional function and biochemistry within various organs of the human body. Positron emission tomography has been used in many medical centers for characterizing the effects of multiple disease processes on specific biochemical transformations. Since the initial demonstration of the feasibility of PET1 and its development in a research environment, many advances have occurred in both the instrumentation necessary for performing these studies and the application of the technology to provide answers to clinical questions. Chemical changes occur before anatomic changes in most diseases, and PET can detect these chemical abnormalities before the anatomic changes have occurred. Thus, PET provides unique information in the evaluation of several different clinical conditions.
See also pp 729 and 752.
The information from a PET study is different from that provided by other imaging modalities. Positron emission tomography measures the concentration of radioactivity
National Cancer Institute Workshop Statement: Advances in Clinical Imaging Using Positron Emission Tomography, September 14-16, 1988. Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(4):735–739. doi:10.1001/archinte.1990.00390160013004
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