Morningside PET/CT Imaging Centre

Call us on 011 783 0787

What is PET/CT?

This is a new advanced imaging tool that combines the modalities of CT (computed tomography) and PET (positron emission tomography) in one imaging procedure. The PET scan detects the metabolic signal of actively growing cancer cells in the body whilst the CT scan provides a detailed picture of the internal anatomy that shows the location, size and shape of cancerous growth.

The results of PET/CT scans are digitally fused together providing complete information on cancer location and abnormal cellular metabolism. PET/CT combines the high sensitivity of PET with the high anatomical spatial resolution of multislice CT. This integrated approach of PET and CT technologies into a single imaging procedure permits accurate tumour detection and anatomical localisation for many cancerous growths.

What are the benefits of PET/CT Imaging in Cancer patients?

PET is considered particularly effective in identifying whether cancer is present or not, if it has spread, if it is responding to treatment, and if a person is cancer free after treatment. Cancers for which PET is considered particularly effective include lung, head and neck, colorectal, esophageal, lymphoma, melanoma, breast, thyroid, cervical, pancreatic, and brain as well as other less-frequently-occurring cancers.

Early detection: Because PET images biochemical activity, it can accurately characterize a tumour as benign or malignant, thereby avoiding surgical biopsy when the PET scan is negative. Conversely, because a PET scan images the entire body, confirmation of distant metastasis can alter treatment plans in certain cases from surgical intervention to chemotherapy.

Staging of cancer: PET is extremely sensitive in determining the full extent of disease, especially in lymphoma, malignant melanoma, breast, lung, colon and cervical cancers. Confirmation of metastatic disease allows the physician and patient to more accurately decide how to proceed with the patient's management.

Checking for recurrences: PET is currently considered to be the most accurate diagnostic procedure to differentiate tumour recurrences from radiation necrosis or post-surgical changes. Such an approach allows for the development of a more rational treatment plan for the patient.

Assessing the effectiveness of chemotherapy: The level of tumour metabolism is compared on PET scans taken before and after a chemotherapy cycle. A successful response seen on a PET scan frequently precedes alterations in anatomy and would therefore be an earlier indicator of tumour response than that seen with other diagnostic modalities.

Preparing for your PET/CT Scan

Before your appointment:

  • Provide a brief summary of your medical history, your current medications and treatments (e.g. Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy and Surgery.)
  • Do not eat for at least 8 hours before the exam.
  • Drink 3 to 4 glasses of plain water and take your usual medications if they can be tolerated on an empty stomach.
  • Wear loose fitting comfortable warm clothing to the test.
  • Leave all watches, jewellery and metallic objects at home.
  • Notify the radiographer if you are pregnant, breast feeding or have an iodine allergy.
  • No exercise should be undertaken 24 hours before your exam.
  • Bring all previous x-rays and CT scans with you.
  • If your scan requires oral contrast additional information will be given to you by the radiographer.


  • Speak to the PET/CT radiographer or doctor for specific instructions with regard to insulin.
  • Generally your blood sugar level should be between 100-200 mg/dL.

On the day of your appointment:

  • Plan to arrive at the department at least 2 hour prior to your scheduled time.
  • The PET/CT staff will place a small intravenous line for a blood sugar level and for the injection of the radio isotope called FDG.
  • Following the injection you will be asked to sit quietly for 60 minutes to allow the isotope to be distributed throughout the body.

During the scan:

  • You will empty your bladder and then be imaged on the PET/CT scanner for approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
  • It is vital that you lie still during the scan.

What happens after my PET/CT scan?

  • Once the scan is complete will be able to leave the PET/CT centre.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to flush the isotope out of your body.
  • You may resume your normal diet.
  • No side effects will be felt from the radioactive injection.

Results of my PET/CT scan:

  • The PET/CT scan is interpreted by a trained radiologist and nuclear physician and the results will usually be conveyed to your referring doctor within 1 to 2 days.
  • You should contact your referring doctor to discuss the results.

Contact details for Morningside PET/ CT Imaging Centre:

Address: Morningside PET/CT Imaging Centre
Lower ground floor, Morningside Medi-Clinic
Hill Rd, (off Rivonia Rd), Sandton

Bookings: 011-783-0787
Fax: 011-884-7571
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Phone: 011-884-3728.
Fax: 011-884-6322.
Postal address: Box 651460, Benmore 2010 .
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Drs Bloch & Partners Incorporated
Radiologists (PR003803945)
Dr E. Papert, Dr A. Pretorius, Dr B. Papert, Dr R. Posner,
Dr L Izerel, Dr A. Koen, Dr P. Nathaniel, Dr S Wise

Dr Paul Jennings
Nuclear Medicine Physician (PR2500051)
Dr.P. Jennings, Dr T. Kotze