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On the market for a PET/CT? Consider scan time and patient traffic

The PET/CT scanner is an interesting machine that has some unique components to consider when you’re on the market. Here’s a great description of the PET/CT from the University of Edinburgh: “The CT scanner component allows reconstruction & registration of the detailed PET images. This allows the PET information about cellular function, to be located quite precisely with its anatomical location, as determined by the CT scan. Complex CT scans, such as coronary artery angiograms, can be combined with PET scans, so that the 2 types of image can be viewed overlaid over each other. This helps to localise where an area of disease may be, such as a tumour or a narrowing of the heart blood vessels.”

When considering a PET/CT for purchase, an important part of the journey is figuring out scan times and patient throughput, which are crucial to the maintenance and flow of your medical imaging facility. Below are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration when it comes to PET/CT scan time and the amount of patients you’ll be seeing.

What’s your traffic like?

PET/CT scanner machine

Since the PET portion of the scan takes some time, if you receive a lot of patients at your facility, it may be a good idea to purchase a CT scanner in addition to PET/CT. Why? Purchasing a CT along with a PET/CT for high-traffic facilities will allow CT scans to flow right along at a steady clip, while enabling your PET patients to get the attention and time they need. In addition, the PET/CT’s CT scanner portion will be able to catch any regular CT patient overflow if your office is especially bustling.

However, if you receive a lower amount of patients in your facility, it’s perfectly fine to have a PET/CT scanner by itself.

Scan Time for PET/CT vs. CT

The PET/CT scanner uses both CT and PET to create its scan. There is a significant difference in PET vs. CT when it comes to scan time, so take this into account when making your decision. CTs generally take a few seconds to 5 minutes to produce a scan, whereas the PET takes anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes. So while you’ll be done with the CT portion of the scan very quickly, the rest of your time will be spent waiting on the PET to finish.

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Figuring out what’s best for your imaging facility can be tricky! Keeping track of patient traffic and flow is essential to determining whether you’ll be okay with simply a PET/CT, or need a CT in addition. Navigating these waters wasn’t meant to be a one man job, so let us help! Our expertly trained sales team would be delighted to discuss PET/CT and CT equipment with you. Contact us here!

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