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Awaiting PET scan results
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Awaiting PET scan results

Hey, friends~

I went on Friday for a PET scan which was ordered by my new neurologist to hopefully see if I indeed have a brain.  It is a supposed to be highly sensitive and should "see" images that an MRI or CT may not be able to produce.  

When I arrived for my appointment, the receptionist told me that they did have a copy of my prescription in my chart, which I know states, "gait abnormalities/ (reduced) memory."  That would be the reason for my test.

When the technician was done, she sat me up (it was much like an MRI), and said, Do you have seizures?  I told her I'd never been diagnosed with epilepsy, but my internist thought I'd had some seizures (because of symptoms I'd described when my neuro was on vacation).  

So I'm wondering if it showed past seizure activity.  I know seizures produce scarring.  MS lesions produce scarring?  I had one 24 hr. EEG long ago that said I had scarring....

I believe I have had a few seizures, but my last EEG was normal.  Non-epileptic.  

Now the stupid thing is, I'm wondering if they are going to look for seizures now and not gait problems/memory you think?  I'm being stupid.  Should I call Tuesday to make sure they check my chart?  Or would that bug the heck out of them?

I have read that the PET will show how the brain sort of "eats up" glucose in a scar (like in epilepsy).  I wonder if the same is true for a scar for MS.   Aaauuurrrgh!  I guess the dumb thing is I will have to wait until Thursday or Friday for the answer until my Attentive doc get the report from the doc who writes the report.  I was lucky enough to have gotten it done before the holiday, anyway!

Thanks for listening!


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Hi Chris,
I totally see why you would be concerned about the person reading the exam!  Unfortunately I know nothing about whether these two tests would both be used for the same type of diagnosing purposes.  I am going to research the PET scan to see what the indications are.  From my previous nursing history they were used to find Cancers but I got out of nursing shortly after the PET scan arrived.

Try not to worry and we will all pray you get an extremely competent radiologist to read that scan and that it leads to an eventual dx with a treatment course!

Take care!
I just found this on Web MD:  It sounds like when they are studying the brain & body's blood flow they will pay attention to any abnormalities that stand out so they should not just be there to rule out something but more to look for answers.  I have heard they were very comprehensive tests and also very expensive.

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is done to:

Study the brain's blood flow and metabolic activity. A PET scan can help a doctor find nervous system problems, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, transient ischemic attack, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's disease, stroke, and schizophrenia.
Find epilepsy in the brain.
Find some cancers, especially of the breast, brain, lung, colon, or prostate or lymphoma. In its early stages cancer may show up more clearly on a PET scan than on a CT scan or an MRI.
See how advanced a cancer is and whether it has spread to another area of the body (metastasized). It is often necessary to do both CT and PET scans to evaluate cancer.
Help a doctor choose the best treatment for cancer. PET scans may also be done to see whether surgery can be done to remove a tumor.
Find poor blood flow to the heart, which may mean coronary artery disease.
Find damaged heart tissue, especially after a heart attack.
Help choose the best treatment for a person with heart disease, such as coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

As an MR technologist I try to get as much information from the patient regarding symptoms, in order to provide the Radiologist with what even I can to aid in a proper diagnosis.  I'm not experienced with PET scans, so I can't comment on that.  All I can offer is a suggestion that the technologist was questioning you in the same manor as I would.  

Sometimes I see things after the fact that urge me to question the patient further.  Other times, I realize after the test that I left a specific question out in my initial history gathering, so I ask at the end.  

Hope that helps!
Hi Zilla,  I can also understand your thoughts on this. Waiting for answers is an aweful form of torture. The PEt sounds very thorough, that is great. I will be anxious to hear what your results are.


I will be praying for you.  I hope your results show the doctors what they need to know.  I know the waiting is the hardest thing to do but try not to worry to much.   Please let us know as soon as you can.

I'll be praying,
Thanks so much for your answers and    prayers and research!  That's so sweet!  I know I'm just going to have to wait, dagnabbit!

Burbanchick, I was hoping you'd see this in particicular, I guess, because of your line of work.  But I know there's nothing really you can tell me, either, other than wait to see what the radiologist says....right?  The tech didn't even take a histiry from me before.  She just asked me about seizures afterward, pointedly, and asked when my last one was.  I just hope they don't limit themselves to the seizure thing.  That's all.  If my prescription says "gait abnormalities, decreased memory"  they'll look for that, right?

Augh!  I don't need to call, do I?  The radiologist will look at the script in my chart, right?
Crazy Chris

In my experience, a radiologist will interpret an exam based on everything that they see.  Your diagnosis will not come from the mouth of the radiologist, they often only suggest what the findings show and use the famous "clinical correlation recommended."

It is not rare that a rad makes an interpretation without a proper history.  I have submitted several cases that involved patients that were not physically able to provide a proper history...

I won't say 100% yes that the rad will look at the script, I will just say that they should.  It is their job to insure, along with everyone else that at one time held your script, that the proper exam was done and this requires checking the records.  They will also make comparisons or references to any other exams that you have on record at that location, whither it be CT, MR, X-ray, Nuc-Med or US.  

My advice would be to wait (I know, SIGH!!!) until you get your results, if you are not happy at that point, have your physician inquire about any concerns you may have.  You are likely to get a better response then calling yourself.  After all Doctors know how to talk to Doctors.

Hope this helps!

I'm just getting the hang of this posting my point of view bear with me!

You did great!

Thanks!  I hate to be a pest.  I'm just so nervous!  Your info is so appreciated.

How is Burban Dude by the way?

Burban Dude is puzzling! When we first found the lesions 7/31/07 and mentioned to him what I was thinking, he said he felt nothing...a few days later he said just the corner of his mouth (left side) was numb and the very tips of his fingers (left).  We went for the MRI then to the Neuro, he again complained about the above problems.

The Neuro told him he did in fact have MS and that he currently have a very small "active lesion" very near the brain stem on the right side, which would explain that current left side symptoms he had.  

Several days later (maybe 4) his symptoms changed a great deal...a major majority of his face (left) was numb, and joining his left hand came a drag in the left leg (I noticed that, not him).  The Doctor put him on the roids which he had been on for almost 2 weeks and still feels the same.  

He's lost the hop in his step and seems to be moving real slow and always reaching out for things to keep his balance...and man has he been sleeping A LOT.  He's tossed a little "give-up" out at me too, but I'm sure that will go away after he gets to accepting's still so new to both of us!

Anyway, they are calling this his "first attack" or "CIS" or whatever. Can his change in symptoms happen that fast, or could part of his problem be the actual awareness of the disease?

Sorry, when you asked who the Dude was, I'm sure you weren't expecting a play by play..ha!

Thanks for asking thought, hope that doesn't sway you from asking again in the future.  


No, I really was curious.  That had to be quite the flokati pulled out from under you both!  I just can't imagine...

I would expect he'd be going through some big time transition period.  You've had some huge changes in your lives!  WOW!  It sounds like you're his rock.  How are you?  It seems like your sense of humor gets you through.  Your attitude.  Are you really OK?  I can tell you notice the minute things.  Very observant.  I'm sure the Dude needs to work things out for a while and you'll just let him do that.  Good for you.

Hang in there.  We're here for YOU.

Zilla Darling*
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