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PET scan: patient information

Please make a note of your appointment date and time. After receiving your appointment, you must call us at 416-480-4360 to confirm.

1) How do I prepare for the PET scan?

  • If you take insulin, please follow the instructions below.
  • All medications can be taken on your normal schedule
  • If you are claustrophobic, you should request a light sedative from your physician before your appointment. Unfortunately, no medication can be provided on your appointment day.
  • 24 hours prior to the PET scan: a high protein, low carbohydrates diet is required (see examples below)
  • 6 hours prior to the PET scan: Do NOT eat. Do NOT consume gum or mints. You can drink water, black coffee, black tea, or clear soup broth while you are fasting. Sugar, milk & sweeteners must NOT be added.
  • Do not participate in strenuous exercise on your appointment day.

2) What is a PET scan?

A PET scan is a nuclear medicine study. Like many nuclear medicine studies, it involves getting an injection of a small amount of radiopharmaceutical then taking pictures on a special camera, demonstrating the function or metabolic activity of different organs. The most common PET radiopharmaceutical is called FDG (Fluorodeoxyglucose). It is a substance like sugar. You should not feel different from this injection. The entire study takes 3 hours.

3) How to get to Sunnybrook Hospital

Address: 2075 Bayview Ave, Toronto (see map and directions)

Report to: Odette Cancer Centre (T-wing), Radiation Planning area on the Basement level

Phone number: 416-480-4360

Diet

Foods high in protein

Foods high in carbohydrates

(Avoid these foods the day before imaging)

Meat: beef, pork, lamb, poultry, eggs

Fish (all varieties; unbreaded) and shellfish

Cheese, cottage cheese

Vegetables: broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms.

Sugar and artificial sweeteners

Fresh fruits and juices

Cereals, breads, pastas, rice, barley

Pastry: pies, cakes, doughnuts, muffins

Potatoes, beans, lentils

Instructions for insulin-dependent diabetic patients

  • Monitor your blood sugars regularly in the days leading to the PET scan to ensure your levels will be below 11 mmol/L on the day of your appointment. If your sugars are above 11 mmol/L at your appointment, you will need to be rescheduled.
  • Take your long acting insulin the night before you appointment as normal
  • Do not eat for 4 hours prior to your appointment
  • Do not take insulin within 2.5 hours of your appointment
  • All other medication can be taken on your normal schedule
  • If you are claustrophobic, you should request a light sedative from your physician
  • Do not participate in strenuous exercise on your appointment day
  • If you are scheduled for an early morning appointment then come for your appointment following an overnight fast. Your insulin and breakfast can be taken after your appointment.
  • If you are scheduled for a late morning or afternoon appointment then you may take your morning insulin with a light meal. Ensure that you stop eating at least 4 hours prior to your appointment. NO gum or mints should be consumed while you are fasting.
  • You can drink water, black coffee, black tea, or clear soup broth while you are fasting. Sugar, milk & sweeteners must NOT be added.
  • If at any time you experience symptoms (e.g. fast heart rate, headache) that suggest that your blood sugars may be low, do not hesitate to take appropriate measures as you normally would. Please inform the technologist on your arrival.