It’s important to prepare your child for their PET-CT scan so everything runs smoothly on the day. Our staff will contact you prior to the appointment to discuss any preparation required and answer any questions you may have. The two most important things to remember are:
Your child should not eat or drink anything for 4 to 6 hours before their PET-CT scan. A PET scan uses a special radioactive dye (‘the tracer’) to create the images of inside the body, and any food drink in the stomach can affect the distribution of the tracer in the body (which can lead to a suboptimal scan).
2. No metal items
Check that your child’s clothing does not contain any metal items (buttons, zippers etc) as it can interfere with the equipment and affect the images. Your child will also have to remove any jewellery. We recommend your child wears something warm and comfortable for their scan.
On arrival you will be taken into a special room called the uptake room. Here a cannula (a thin tube) will be placed in a vein in your child’s arm. If your child already has a central line or port, this will be used instead. The tracer (often called ‘sparkle juice’) is injected through the cannula, central line or port and into the body.
Once the tracer has been administered, your child will need to sit still and relax for about 1 hour. We will ensure your child is warm and comfortable during this period.