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Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT)

Photo of a CT scan (left) and PET scan (right) showing cancer in a body

University of Maryland Medical Center physicians are using one of the nation's most advanced combination PET/CT scanners.

This state-of-the-art imaging system gives doctors highly defined, 3-D images of form and function inside a patient's body.

These detailed images provide doctors with critical information used in treating conditions such as cancer and heart disease.

This site provides information about the benefits and applications of this cutting edge imaging system.

UM Medical Center's Division of Nuclear Medicine sets a new standard in the integration of anatomical and metabolic data with the Gemini open PET/CT.

The Division of Nuclear Medicine is located on the second floor -- Room G2J06 -- of the University of Maryland Medical Center in downtown Baltimore. Get directions to the Medical Center.

PET/CT Benefits:

  • Improved tumor detection and localization
  • Precise staging of disease
  • Better monitoring of cancer recurrences
  • Maximum sensitivity through 3-D acquisition
  • Excellent image quality and spatial resolution
  • Shorter investigation time and improved patient comfort
  • Patient convenience of a single scan
  • Convenient electronic fusion with CT and MRI for diagnosis and treatment planning
  • PET/CT studies are covered by Medicare and most other insurance

Photo of a Gemini open PET/CTThe combination PET/CT scanner is a major advance in imaging technology and patient care.

As the name implies, it combines two scanners -- the PET (Positron Emission Tomography), which shows metabolism and the function of cells, and the CT (Computed Tomography), which shows detailed anatomy -- into one.

The result is that doctors are now able to get highly defined, 3-D images inside the human body in one system. This provides important information about a patient's condition, and allows doctors to make the best choices about treatment of conditions such as cancer and heart disease.

For example, the PET scanner can provide critical information about the metabolic function of cancer cells, and can detect very small tumors, but not the exact location.

The CT scanner, however, provides that anatomic information. So the combination PET/CT scanner gives doctors a powerful new system for detecting and diagnosing conditions like cancer earlier and more accurately, increasing the patient's chances of a good outcome.

Another patient benefit of the PET/CT scanner is its open design (Figure 1). This reduces the chances patients will feel claustrophobic, a complaint many patients have had with scanners that have long tunnels. The PET/CT scanner features two large rings with an open area in between, giving patients the ability to see the area around them and allowing technicians better patient access during the exam.

Figure 1

Photo of an open PET/CT

Open PET/CT: The design of this advanced scanner combines high technology with patient comfort and open architecture.

Contact Us

For more information about the PET/CT scanner or to make an appointment, please call the Division of Nuclear Medicine at (410) 328-6891.