PET-CT with Dotatate for Neuroendocrine Tumors
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A PET-CT with dotatate uses a radiotracer and an imaging machine to find neuroendocrine tumors (NET) in your body. If you've been scheduled for a PET-CT with dotatate, you doctor may want to:
- Find cancer cells.
- Plan your cancer treatment.
- Check to see whether your cancer treatment is working.
A radiotracer is a radioactive medication that is injected into your body through an intravenous (IV) line. A PET scanner detects cells in your body that absorb the radiotracer, giving doctors information about where cancer is and how it is responding to treatment. The radiotracer decays naturally over the course of about seven hours. It leaves your body mainly through your urine.
You may be asked to drink oral contrast before your exam. Oral contrast is a dye that helps us ge better picture of your colon. You will be asked if you are allergic to iodinated contrast (contrast with iodine) when you check in for your appointment. If you are allergic to iodinated contrast, you may be given barium to drink. Both types of contrast work the same way and are safe if you have diabetes.
Before Your PET-CT with Dotatate
- Drink between 32 and 64 ounces of water two hours before your appointment.
- Please consult with your physician if you are receiving octreotide therapy.
- If you are on a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), be aware that we will need to remove it for the exam. Please plan accordingly.
On the Day of Your PET-CT with Dotatate
You will have a CT scan at the same time as your PET scan. A CT scan is a fast series of X-ray pictures. The CT pictures are combined with your PET scan to create pictures of your soft tissues and bones.
- Check in for your appointment on the Connect patient portal. You may also check in when you arrive at the imaging center.
- Please wear loose, comfortable clothing to your appointment. Leave your jewelry and valuables at home. Do not wear clothes that contain metal, such as hooks, buckles, or wires.
- When you arrive for your appointment, a healthcare provider will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
- You will be given a radiotracer through an intravenous (IV) line in your arm.
- You will be asked to wait in the room for about 40 minutes. You can sleep, bring music to listen to, or watch videos on your personal devices.
- Next, we will ask you to lie on a narrow, padded table that slides into the scanner. The technologist will leave the room, but they will be able to see, hear, and speak with you at all times.
- During the scan you will need to lie very still because movement can affect the results.
- The scan itself will take about 30 minutes. The entire process will take about two hours.
After Your PET-CT with Dotatate
Most people can return to their normal activities immediately after a PET-CT scan. A very small amount of the tracer will remain in your body, so be sure to drink plenty of water to help flush it out of your system.
This is a diagnostic test, not a therapy. Doctors have used radiotracers to diagnose disease for more than 50 years, and there are no known long-term adverse effects of these procedures. Rarely, the radiotracer causes an allergic reaction.
A board-certified doctor will review and compare your PET-CT scan with your other imaging tests and write up a detailed report. We will share the results with the doctor who requested the exam. Your doctor will then discuss the results with you.
How to Access Your Images
You can view, download, or share your exams through your Connect patient portal.
Once you are logged in, select “View Radiology Images” from the menu. A new web browser window will open to display a list of your exams.
Questions About Your Exam?
If you have questions or concerns before your PET-CT with dotatate, you may contact us directly at: 212-342-2899.