1) PET is both a medical and research tool.
2) PET is an important research tool to map normal human brain and heart functions.
3) lt is heavily used in clinical oncology which is the medical imaging oftumors.
4) PET is used in pre-clinical studies using animals where repeated investigations into the same subject are allowed. This is very valuable in cancer research.
5) PET is capable of detecting areas of molecular biology details.
Some of the application fields of PET are explained briefly below
- Oncology: PET scanning with tracer fluorine-18(F-18) fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) called FDG-PET is widely used in clinical oncology.FDG is trapped in any cell that takes it up until it decays. This results in intense radio labeling of tissues with high glucose uptake such as brain, liver and most cancers. So FDG-PET can be used for diagnosis and monitoring treatment of cancers. Oncology scans using FDG make up over 90% of all PET scans in current practice.
- Neurology: PET neuro imaging is based on an assumption that areas of high eradniot parts ofare associated with brain activity. Here the flow of blood to different brain is indirectly measured. It can be measured using tracer oxygen-15.
- Pharmacology: In pre-clinical trials, it is possible to radiolabel a new drug and inject it into animals. Such scans are called bio-distribution studies. The uptake of drug, the tissues in which it concentrates and the eventual elimination can be monitored more quickly and cost —effectively.
- Small animal imaging: A miniature PET tomography can be constructed that is small enough for a fully conscious and mobile rat to wear on its head. This is called RatCAP(Rat Concious Animal Pet). This allows animals to be scanned without the effect of anesthesia.
- Musculo-skeletal imaging PET is a feasible technique for studying skeletal muscles during exercises like walking. The main advantage of using PET is that it can provide muscle activation data about deeper lying muscles as compared to other muscle studying techniques. But here the PET provides no timing information about muscle activation.