- an image obtained by positron emission tomography, using a PET scanner.
- an examination performed with a PET scanner.
Origin of PET scan
- A cross-sectional image produced by a PET scanner.
- Short for positron emission tomography scan. A cross-sectional image of a metabolic process in a human or animal body produced by positron emission tomography.
Acronym for positron emission tomography, a medical test that is especially useful in showing how tissue or an organ is functioning, as opposed to just showing structure. In a PET scan, radioactive atoms are introduced into the body, where their chemical behavior is exactly the same as similar nonradioactive atoms. The positrons emitted when these nuclei decay collide with electrons in surrounding tissue, producing gamma rays that can then be detected by instruments outside the body.