Technologist’s Guide

Principles and Practice of PET/CT Part 1

October 2010

PET-CT is expanding rapidly in many countries and has quickly established its place in the diagnosis and management of several prominent diseases. This has come about through a growing and convincing evidence base in regard to its efficacy, combined with sound financial reasons. Taken together, these provide a firm argument for routine use of PET-CT in certain disease processes. With this in mind, this book, the first in a series of three about PET-CT, comes at a timely moment. The next two books in this series will be published in 2011 and 2012. Each chapter has a reference list, though we have tried to keep these lists to essential references only. Finally, most chapters also have a short reading list, which seeks either to develop fundamental background knowledge that should be present prior to reading the chapter or to give direction on how to extend your knowledge after reading the chapter.

This book covers some fundamental aspects of PET-CT in preparation for the two subsequent books. It commences with a chapter on a radionuclide radiologist’s perspective about the use of PET-CT in his medical practice. This is an important starting point because it makes a clear statement about how PET-CT is evolving in a particular country with a view to providing a routine service. Having introduced this perspective, the book progresses to a number of equipment-related chapters. These outline how PET-CT imaging and radionuclide production equipment work and also they explain what quality checks might be conducted to ensure optimal performance. Given that PET-CT radiation protection requirements are complex, we have included a substantial chapter on this. This comprises three elements – ‘sta(’, ‘patient’ and ‘department design’. There is also a chapter on patient care, and, as with radiation protection, we have anticipated an existing level of general knowledge about these particular issues. The final chapter presents arguments on how competence to practice could be achieved and what considerations should be borne in mind when designing educational curricula. Building on this book, the second in the series will explore some more fundamental issues (such as radiochemistry QC) before progressing to the detail of how PET-CT procedures are conducted. We hope that you enjoy reading this book and the two related ones. More importantly, we hope that this book will serve as a valuable resource when conducting PET-CT procedures and also designing educational processes that seek to ensure staff are competent in their roles. Finally, as part of this preface, we have included below a concise glossary of terms and abbreviations that aim to give a simple insight before you begin reading this book.

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