Radiology (Xray)

Positron Emission Tomography/Computerised Tomography (PET/CT) Scan

0191 2081173 Monday to Friday 09:30am to 03:00pm

IntroductionShow [+]Hide [-]

Your consultant has referred you for a Positron Emission Tomography/Computerised Tomography (PET/CT) scan to aid with your diagnosis and treatment. We hope you will find this information useful, if you have any further questions please ask a member of staff.

What is a PET/CT Scan?Show [+]Hide [-]

A PET/CT scan is used to produce a detailed, three-dimensional picture of the inside of the body. The images clearly show the part of the body that is being investigated and can also highlight how effectively certain functions of the body are working. The PET part of the scan provides us with functional imaging (practical information about how the body systems are working) whilst the CT gives us anatomical information (precise locations within the body).

AppointmentShow [+]Hide [-]

Your appointment letter gives you the date and time of your appointment. If you cannot attend at this time please telephone us on 0191 2081173 (Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3.00pm) and we will change the appointment for you.

Please let us know if you cannot attend and we can offer the appointment to another patient.

Please contact us 48 hours before your scan if you:

  • Are diabetic.
  • Are pregnant, breastfeeding or in contact with small children
  • Weigh over 100kg (16 stones)
  • Suffer from any allergies or asthma
  • Are on any thyroid medication
  • Are booked in for any other appointments on the same day.

If you have any questions about your appointment please contact us on 0191 2081173, (Monday to Friday 9.30am until 3.00pm)

On the day of your PET scanShow [+]Hide [-]

Please have nothing to eat and only drink plain water for six hours before your appointment. This includes cough sweets and mints.

Take any medication as normal unless you are on thyroid medication or are diabetic. Please contact us for individual instructions regarding these medications.

Avoid strenuous activity, such as going to the gym or jogging for 24 hours before your appointment.


When you arriveShow [+]Hide [-]

When you arrive in the department you will be asked to fill in a patient questionnaire. You will then be taken by one of our technologists to the patient bays. The procedure will then be fully explained to you and some details of your medical history taken.

Once you have been informed of what will happen during the appointment you will be given a small injection of a radioactive tracer material into a vein in your arm. This is a sugar based component that travels round your body and is absorbed by the working cells. There are no side effects of this injection. We will ask that you remain lying down for 30-90 minutes after this injection. During this time we would like you to remain as still and as relaxed as possible.

Once the rest period is finished we will ask you to empty your bladder then you will be escorted by a member of staff into the scanning room. You will be asked to lie on your back on the scanning bed. The bed will move through the ring of the scanner and collect images for 25-60 minutes depending on the type of scan you need.

After your scanShow [+]Hide [-]

After your scan you are free to leave the department. We recommend that you avoid prolonged close contact with pregnant ladies and small children for eight hours after your scan as you may have small levels of radioactivity in your system until then. We also encourage you to drink plenty of fluids for the rest of the day, as this will help flush the remaining radioactivity from your system.

Once your test is completed it will be reported by one of our consultant radiologists and the results will be sent to your own consultant within one week.

For further informationShow [+]Hide [-]

Contact details

Lishan Sung, PET secretary on 0191 2081173 (Monday to Friday 9.30am until 3.00pm)

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can offer on-the-spot advice and information about the NHS. You can contact them on freephone 0800 032 02 02 or e-mail

Useful websites

If you would like further information about health conditions and treatment options, you may wish to have a look at the NHS Choices website at On this website there is an information prescription generator which brings together a wealth of approved patient information from the NHS and charity partners which you may find helpful

Information from your diagnostic test will contribute to the Diagnostic Imaging Dataset. 

The Diagnostic Imaging Dataset (DID) is a database that holds information on the imaging tests and scans carried out on NHS patients. This will allow the Health and Social Care Information Centre to see how different tests are used across the country.

Nothing will ever be reported that identifies you.  All information is stored securely. It is only made available to appropriate staff, and is kept strictly confidential. However, if you do not want your information to be stored in the DID, please tell the people who are treating you. They will make sure your information is not copied into the DID.

You may, at a later date, still decide to opt out.  Please contact the Health and Social Care Information Centre directly, their contact details are:

Telephone: 0845 300 6016 





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