Columbia St. Mary's Offering PET/CT Scan Imaging

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Columbia St. Mary’s is pleased to announce that PET/CT scan imaging is now available at its Columbia Campus, 2025 E. Newport Ave. Columbia St. Mary’s is one of four sites in the greater Milwaukee offering this advanced imaging technology.

The PET/CT system combines the fastest and most sophisticated Computed Tomography (CT) technology with the most advanced Positron Emission Tomography (PET) technology—all in a single exam. The system acquires the CT image first, followed by the PET image.

  • The CT scan takes cross sectional images of the internal structures of the body.
  • The PET scan creates images of high metabolic activity in the body to detect changes in cellular function. Areas with a high degree of metabolic activity have a greater chance of being cancerous.

The system then fuses the PET and CT images, allowing physicians to view metabolic changes in the body within the proper anatomical context. The combined scan helps to improve diagnostic accuracy and to plan patient treatment.

“PET/CT increases the accuracy of diagnostic imaging and has great potential to provide very useful information for patients and physicians,” said Dr. Ken Clark, Medical Director of Nuclear Medicine at Columbia St. Mary’s Columbia Campus. “Plus, patients only need to spend about half as much time on the scanning table compared to a PET scan alone. Less time on the table means faster results and greater patient comfort.”

This advanced imaging system is capable of 2D and 3D imaging. It can effectively pinpoint the source of many of the most common cancers, and heart and neurological diseases, eliminating the need for redundant tests and diagnostic surgical procedures. The PET/CT also features a larger bore to accommodate all patient sizes.

PET/CT is useful in:

  • Oncology to determine the location and extent of tumor growth (diagnosis, staging, and restaging of cancer).
  • Neurology to aid in the diagnosis of brain tumors, and seizures. Future applications may aid in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and stroke.
  • Cardiology to determine the viability of the heart.

More than 6 million people in the world will die from cancer this year according to the World Health Organization. In the United States, one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer in his or her lifetime.

“Offering the latest technology for early disease detection is another example of Columbia St. Mary’s strong commitment to offering patients the best available cancer care,” Dr. Clark said. “This technology truly supports physicians in improved diagnosis and treatment.”

For more information on PET/CT scan imaging at Columbia St. Mary’s, please call the Nuclear Medicine Department at 414-961-3450


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