Positive Emission Tomography (PET)

PET is used to identify areas of increased and decreased blood flow and metabolism in the brain. It is used to help locate where child seizures are coming from. This measurement is performed by injecting a small amount of radioactive isotope through an IV. When this substance reaches the brain during the scan, a computer uses the recorded signals to create images of specific brain functions. The information provided by the PET scan helps to determine the seizure focus, providing information for the pediatric neurologist to help determine if your child is a surgical candidate.

What to Expect

No food or drink is allowed for four to six hours before the test. An IV will be started and the radioisotope will be injected. Your child will be asked to rest for approximately 30 to 45 minutes while the substance reaches the brain. The scan requires your child to lie still on the scanning table with their head in a headrest to help support and hold it still. The scanner detects the radioactive material and produces a computer image of your child’s brain. Scanning time is approximately 1 to 2 hours.