The PET – MRI technologist will confirm that you are free of all metal both inside and outside your body and review your medical history.
The nurse or technologist will then place an intravenous needle/catheter into a vein in your arm or hand. Your blood sugar level will then be checked and the radioactive tracer will be administered through the I.V.
You will then be brought to a very quiet room to rest for approximately one hour to allow the radiotracer to circulate through your body and be absorbed by the cells. The radiotracer is taken up by both normal and abnormal tissue, according to their metabolic rate.
After one hour you will asked to empty your bladder and then taken into the PET-MRI room and asked to lie down on the scanning table. The area of your body being scanned, whether it be whole body (head to mid-thigh) and/or specific regions of interest (ex: chest, abdomen, pelvis) will be comfortably positioned in surface coils. The coil maximizes the administration and recording of the radio frequency bursts and the magnetic fields to ensure the clearest possible images.
The scanning table you are lying on will be moved into the machine and the test will begin. The machine never touches you. Be sure to remain as still as possible to ensure the best possible images. Although the PET-MRI technologist cannot stay in the room with you during the scan, he or she will be able to talk to you from outside the room through an intercom.
Once all of the images have been recorded, the scanning table will move out of the PET–MRI machine and the technologist will return to assist you off the table.
The PET–MRI scan can take from 45-50 minutes, depending on the area of the body being scanned.