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PET-CT-scan with F18-FDG

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Please be on time

It is important to be on time. If you are unable to arrive on time, please contact us as soon as possible. Before we can administer the radioactive tracer, a quality test must first be performed. It is possible that the quality test may not meet the criteria. It is rare, but if this happens, we can not use the radioactive tracer. In this case we may have to reschedule the appointment.

Purpose of the PET-CT scan

A PET-CT will provide information about the anatomy and function of the examined organs and tissues. These organs will be visible after injection of a radioactive compound or tracer. By performing this scan it is possible to detect abnormalities and find out the extent of these abnormalities. No harmful side effects have been reported after injection of this radioactive tracer. A part of the injected tracer will leave the body via the kidneys and urine. The remaining radioactivity will disappear within a few hours.


If you use insulin or metformin for your diabetes please let us know as soon as possible. There are special instructions to prepare for the FDG PET-CT scan. If you use an antidiabetics there are no special instructions needed.


  • Fasting during 6 hours before the scan: eating is not allowed, you can keep drinking: only drinks without sugar (or sweeteners) are allowed, such as water, coffee and tea.
  • For the quality of the scan, it is important to drink a sufficient amount of fluid. Please drink one liter of water in the period of two hours before the scan. You may go to the toilet normally.
  • 24 hours before the scan: no (extreme) physical exercises.
  • The radioactive tracer has a short half-life and will be specially prepared for you. Therefore, it is essential to be on time for the scheduled appointment. Otherwise, it may be necessary to cancel the scan!
  • Wear comfortable, warm clothing, without any metals or jewelry.
  • Take your medicine as usual, except the ones which are syrup-based.


You may be given propranolol 1 hour before the injection of the radioactive tracer. This drug blocks the brown fat tissue for better quality of the scan.

The procedure

You will get a temporary intravenous access cannula in your arm. After the injection of the radioactive tracer, you will be guided to the resting area. During a one hour waiting period, the tracer can reach its targets and be sufficiently cleared from the rest of the body. It is important to rest. You may not read a book or listen to music during this hour. Using a telephone is also prohibited during this time.

After the waiting period you will be guided to the PET-CT room. It is very important to lie still during the scanning procedure. The duration of the scan will be approximately half an hour. Besides the PET scan a (low-radiation) CT scan will be made for technical purposes. This is not a regular diagnostic CT scan.

Your specialist may have requested a diagnostic CT in combination with the PET-CT. The contrast agent for this diagnostic CT will be administered through intravenous access. A lot of people get a warm sensation during the infusion of the contrast agent. This is normal and will resolve fast.

Please note: there is a small risk of an allergic reaction to the contrast agent. If you had an allergic contrast reaction in the past, it is important to report this before the CT scan will be made. In most cases a new allergic reaction may be prevented by giving you anti-allergic medication before the CT scan.

Duration of the examination

The total examination will take approximately 2.5 hours.

After the examination

There will be no restrictions. You may go home or go to work after the scan.

Pregnancy and lactation

It is important to let us know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Please contact our department if this is the case.


You may be accompanied by an attending adult. This person is not allowed to be present during the waiting period after injection and during the scan procedure itself because of the radiation levels. It is not allowed to bring a pregnant person with you.


We recommend that you do not take any valuables with you to the hospital and that you are not to leave property unattended.

Cancellation of the appointment

If you are unable to attend, please contact our department before 10 o’clock in the morning, one day before the scheduled PET-CT appointment.

Where can I find the department?

The department of Nuclear Medicine is located in the “Centrumlocatie” in building section Cb. From the entrance, please follow the instructions to building department Cb, then go to the second floor with the elevator and follow the signs “Nucleaire geneeskunde. You can then report to desk Cb-206.

How to travel to the Erasmus MC

The easiest way to reach the Erasmus MC is by public transport. You will avoid parking problems by doing this. More information about how to travel:


If you have any questions after reading this information letter, please contact the department of Nuclear Medicine, phone number: +3110-7040132. It is also possible to ask the technician questions before the scan.