The Clinical Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Center at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, is one of the Midwest’s leading PET imaging centers, offering comprehensive diagnostic testing for patient care, education in nuclear medicine, and leading-edge research.
The Washington University Referring physicians can call (314) 362-7418 to schedule PET examinations for their patients.
The Clinical PET Center is on the 7th floor of the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR) at Barnes-Jewish Hospital south campus.
The Washington University Physician PET Specialists -
Barry Siegel, MD, Director
Henry Royal, MD, Associate Director
Farrokh Dehdashti, MD
Keith Fischer, MD
Robert Gropler, MD
Tom Miller, MD, PhD
Mark Mintun, MD
Jerold Wallis, MD
What is PET ?
Positron emission tomography (PET) produces an image of function rather than form. This is different from an X-ray, MRI or CT scan, which produces an image of bone, tissue or organ structure.
The PET image can show actual metabolic activity within different regions of the human body’s organs and tissues, differentiate between normal and diseased tissue, detect viable versus dying tissue, and determine drug response in the patient.
The information gained from PET technology extends the clinician’s understanding of basic biological processes and improves the diagnosis of disease. PET is useful in diagnosing, staging, and restaging many types of cancer (eg, lung, colon, breast), as well as assessing tumor response to therapy.
It is also useful for evaluation of certain neurological disorders (eg, epilepsy), and cardiac disease (eg, advanced coronary artery disease).
For example, on the left is a coronal PET image obtained with F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose in a patient with Hodgkin's lymphoma. The image demonstrates extensive involvement of the lymph nodes in the right axilla, both supraclavicular regions, and the mediastinum.
What Can Patients Expect ?
Most PET scans are done on an outpatient basis, with the entire procedure time lasting from 1 ½ hours to 2 ½ hours, depending on the specific type of PET examination being done.
Patients receive a radiopharmaceutical containing a substance that can be traced by radiation detectors in the PET machine.
The most commonly used radiopharmaceutical consists of the sugar glucose labeled with fluorine-18 (fluorodeoxyglucose or FDG). The radioisotopes used for PET scans are short-lived, so the amount of radiation exposure to the patient is small.
What is the Washington University Advantage ?
In St. Louis, the PET Center has two PET scanners and is staffed by Mallinckrodt Institute nuclear medicine physicians, who collectively have over 145 years of experience in nuclear medicine and PET.
More than 20,000 patient visits for nuclear medicine exams (over 2,100 for PET) occur annually in Mallinckrodt Institute’s Division of Nuclear Medicine.
We have physician availiability at the following locations:
St. Louis Children's Hospital
Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital
Barnes-Jewish St. Peter's Hospital
As in most medical specialist fields, the more experience a physician has with a specific procedure or disease, the more each patient profits. A large number of patients does not mean you are treated like a number; in fact, a large number of patients with similar problems makes the process go smoother and with greater accuracy.
The PET specialists are full-time clinical physicians of the Washington University School of Medicine and are on staff at Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's Hospitals.
The Clinical PET Center was opened to provide clinical PET services in 1988, and was one of a few facilities in the world that pioneered this transition from research to medical practice. Acknowledged as a world leader in PET, MIR’s Division of Nuclear Medicine has served as the training ground for the foremost experts in the field.
For further information, please visit the MIR Division of Nuclear Medicine web site
For more information on nuclear medicine and PET, visit the web sites of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and the Academy of Molecular Imaging