PET/CT Patient Guide


The technologist will escort you to the injection room and go over your detailed history. The team will test your blood glucose level. We are looking for your blood glucose level to be between 70mg/dL and 200mg/dL. If your blood glucose falls within those limits and you have followed prior instructions, the technologist will proceed. The technologist will start an intravenous line and administer the radiopharmaceutical injection. After the injection you may be given one cup of an oral barium contrast to drink. You will rest quietly in a reclining chair for approximately 75 minutes. Twenty minutes prior to the start of your scan you may be given another cup of the oral barium contrast to drink. You will be asked to empty your bladder just before your PET/CT Scan. Most PET/CT scans can take between 60 minutes to 90 minutes.

Please let us know if you have any allergies or adverse reactions to medications. If you are pregnant or may be pregnant, please tell your doctor or technologist. Please leave your valuables at home or in your room if you are in the hospital. Please let us now if you need interpreting services, this can be arranged for you. Bring a list of your current medications with you, if you are coming in as an outpatient.

Day before procedure: Please avoid all forms of strenuous exercise and/or physical activity for 24 hours prior to your appointment. Avoid all caffeine and de-caffeinated beverages for 24 hours prior to exam. It is important that you stay well hydrated. Unless you are on fluid restriction, please drink at least eight glasses of plain water. The quality of your scan may be improved if you follow a high protein, low carbohydrate, and low sugar diet during the 24 hours prior to your scan. For 12 hours prior to your appointment, do not use nicotine products, including nicotine patches and cigarettes.

During the Exam: The duration of the exam will vary, but the average is about 2 hours. The technologist will position you on the exam table, and give you instructions to remain still or to hold your breath. You will have the opportunity to ask the technologists questions. 

After the Procedure: You should drink about 5 glasses of water. Nursing mothers should wait for 24 hours before resuming breast-feeding. If you feel any symptoms such as nasal congestion, itchy eyes, hives, rashes, sneezing, restlessness, tremors, pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, please notify the staff immediately. The staff is prepared to handle these situations. 

Schedule Today 

We are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call 530.529.8280 to make an appointment.

Question about Your Exam?

If you have a question about your exam, please call our department at 530.529.8280.