NMTEC 212 Positron Emission Tomography • 2 Cr.


Covers all aspects of positron emission tomography (PET), including basic principles, instrumentation, PET/CT imaging and quality control, quantitation of radiopharmaceutical uptake, clinical indications for PET imaging, biochemistry of fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), clinical aspects of FDG imaging, new PET radiopharmaceuticals, and issues relating to reimbursement for PET scans. Prerequisite: Acceptance into program.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Describe the basic principles of positron emission tomography (PET), including the concept of coincidence imaging, the need for different scintillation crystals, the composition of the tomograph, and time-of-flight imaging.
  • Contrast PET imaging to general nuclear medicine imaging in regard to patient preparation, technologist actions, inclusion of CT imaging, and final tomographic slices.
  • Discuss in detail the use of F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) in oncologic imaging, including the biochemistry of its uptake, organs with normal uptake, patient preparation and FDG administration, and meaning of imaging results.
  • Define and analyze factors affecting the standardized uptake value (SUV) for FDG imaging, and briefly discuss the application of the SUV to other radiopharmaceuticals.
  • Characterize the use of and issues surrounding the operation of combined PET/CT imaging systems, and the advantages of co-registered imaging.
  • Describe positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of the skeleton, brain, and heart.
  • Discuss economic issues related to PET imaging, including reimbursement, demonstration of efficacy, and starting up a PET practice.
  • Explain how PET imaging can be applied to basic physiologic research, new drug research, and gene therapy.
  • Dissect, explain, and critically analyze an article on a PET clinical research study.