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Jeff Anderson moving toward enhanced PET scan capabilities

By By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Nov. 16, 2001
Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center is improving its PET scan technology, a procedure most commonly used to detect cancer.
Since July 2000, the hospital has performed more than 100 examinations with its Positron Emission Tomography imaging procedure, which officials described as the only one of its kind in Mississippi.
PET scans are used to diagnose and stage patients with cancer, certain brain disorders and heart conditions. A PET scan can distinguish benign tumors from malignant ones, monitor the cancer and prove whether or not certain treatments are working.
PET scans are done by injecting a patient with a type of radioactive glucose, called F-18 FDG, which acts as a tracer because the substance is taken up preferentially in the body by cancer cells. As the radioactive material decays in the body, photons are released and cameras pick up images of the reaction while circling the patient. The images, shown on computer, let doctors know what is happening in the body.
The current PET cameras rotate around the patient to collect images; the new system, expected to be in place in December or January, uses a circular ring that will take images all around the patient simultaneously.
Eifert said the result will be pictures that contain more information, which will benefit the patient by giving doctors a better tool for diagnoses.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.

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