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What is a "hot spot" that appears in PET scans and CT scans?
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What is a "hot spot" that appears in PET scans and CT scans?

Hello,

My brother has been experiencing some strange problems and symptoms, and I have some questions.

My brother started having right shoulder pain about 9 weeks ago. His doctor has been treating him for a torn rotator cuff.

Last week, the doctor decided to do an MRI. After it was read by the radiologist, they immediately scheduled him for a CT scan of the shoulder and a PET scan. The tech told my brother to stay in the waiting area so the radiologist could speak with him. After a brief wait, the radiologist suggested performing a CT scan of the chest because there were some "hot spots" on the scans: a large one in the right shoulder, a smaller one in the left shoulder, a few on the 2nd rib on the left side, some in the lymph nodes and in the lungs. The radiologist kept asking if my brother was experiencing a cough, or shortness of breath, chest pains. My brother denied having any problems except for the severe pain in is shoulder.

Once all the scans were complete, my brother was instructed to return to his doctor's office. There, nothing was really said except they were scheduling appointments with a pulmonologist and an orthopaedic specialist.

My brother is 48 years old and the picture of health. We are confused and concerned, especially since so many possible things that could be causing the pain have been ruled out, ie, pneumonia, congestive heart failure, torn rotator cuff, infection, fracture, etc.

Can anyone here tell me exactly what is a "hot spot" that appears in PET scans and CT scans?

Thank you very much!
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3 Comments Post a Comment
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351246_tn?1379685732
Dear Tracy 0713

I am sorry but I do not have good news for you. I am giving you certain refernces to answer your question.

"PET images begin with an injection of FDG, an analog of glucose that is tagged to the radionuclide F18. Metabolically active organs or tumors consume sugar at high rates, and as the tagged sugar starts to decay, it emits positrons. These positrons then collide with electrons, giving off gamma rays, and a computer converts the gamma rays into images. These images indicate metabolic "hot spots," often indicating rapidly growing tumors (because cancerous cells generally consume more sugar/energy than other organs or tumors)."; http://www.petscaninfo.com/zportal/portals/pat/petct_basics/how_petct_works

"Positron emission tomography is a noninvasive imaging technique that creates three-dimensional images of the heart, brain and other organs of the body. PET scans are mostly used in diagnosing cancer, especially lung cancer, colon and rectal cancer, head and neck cancers and lymphoma. However, they can also be used for heart disease, dementia and seizures.A computer constructs a three-dimensional image. Malignancies light up as "hot spots" in the image. A typical scan takes about two hours, including preparation."; http://www.mayoclinic.org/pet/

Here is another link that gives you detailed information; http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pet-scan/CA00052

Please go through them and let me know if you have any other query.

Best

Doctornee



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Oh my.

Thank you for answering my question.
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi Tracy0713,

You are welcome. This is the least I could do. Please feel free to ask anything else if need be.

Best
Doctornee
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