science museum

How PET works

A PET scan detects radioactively labelled molecules (such as oxygen or glucose), which will be used by active neurones in the brain. The radioactive substance is injected into the patient's blood where it gives off positrons, which break down to produce gamma rays. A gamma ray detector traces the flow of blood around the body.

A PET scanner.
A PET scanner.
Corbis

Science Museum Home Page Who am I? Science Museum Home Page