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PET/CT Patient Preparation Guidelines

In many cases, what you do before your appointment is just as crucial as what we do during the exam itself. Carefully review the preparation guidelines for your particular scan shown below.

Note: We work with your doctor to pre-register you and pre-approve your insurance coverage. If your exam is the result of a Workers' Compensation claim or a motor vehicle accident, we will verify this information before scheduling your appointment.

There are strict preparation guidelines for all patients, especially diabetics, regarding what you can eat or drink before your PET/CT exam. Contact us for your individual dietary instructions.


Guidelines for all patients include:

  • Do not eat or drink anything except water four to six hours prior to your exam
  • Take your regularly scheduled medicine before arriving (if you can tolerate it on an empty stomach)
  • Avoid rigorous activity for 24 hours before your exam
  • Dress warmly and comfortably
  • If you are diabetic, eat a small meal four hours prior to your exam and take your insulin, if necessary. It is critical that you follow all preparation guidelines and ensure that your glucose levels are within normal limits, or the exam will need to be rescheduled.

Important: Please make every effort to keep your appointment. If you must cancel or reschedule, notify our office at least 24 hours in advance. The solution used for your scan is prepared specifically for you and will have to be discarded if you fail to keep your appointment.


Notify our staff prior to your PET/CT scan if you:

  • Are or may be pregnant
  • Are allergic to any food or drugs
  • Are currently being treated for an infection
  • Are unsure if you should take your medications
  • Have had recent radiation therapy