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Can Scar Tissue be Mistaken as Activity/Uptake on a Pet Scan?

Posts: 23
Joined: Oct 2004

Just wondering (yes, wondering again...always on my mind). Can scar tissue be mistaken as activity/uptake on a pet scan? I did not think that scar tissue shows up on a pet. Anyone know? My next pet scan is scheduled for June 1st. Seems like a LONGGGGG time from now, so bear with me on my constant posting. I am nervous wreck about this! Thanks for listening, AGAIN! Maureen~

Posts: 23
Joined: May 2002

hi, Maureen

short answer: I don't think so. ask your doc to be sure.
Long answer:
my recollection of the PET scan, is that I had an injection of a slightly radioactive material. that material has an "affinity" for the Hodgkin's cells, and attaches to the Hodgkin's cells. so on the PET scan the Hodgkin's cells show up as "hot"...the scar tissue is just that: scar tissue, and no longer Hodgkin's cells, so they don't appear "hot" on a PET scan.

my recollection of a regular CT scan is that a CT scan does NOT distinguish between scar tissue and Hodgkins cells.. so that is the reason to do a PET scan to tell Hot from not hot.. but I'm not a doc..

my recommendation is try not think about the scan until the scan..I know it is easier said than done, six weeks is a long time to be a wreck about it.

good luck, and the best of health to you

Posts: 23
Joined: Oct 2004

You're right, it is hard not to think about the pet scan and its results. The results can make the difference of enjoying life or fighting again for it. So, based upon that alone... of course I am going to think about it.

Posts: 69
Joined: Dec 2003

Yes scar tissue can be mistaken on a pet-scan!! I am proof. After I had my treatment, I had a pet-scan and it showed "activity"(that's what they call it when it is Hot). I had a follow up Pet-scan three months later and the scan showed nothing! It can and does have it's limitations. Please know that I am talking from personal experience and would never tell you this if it were not true. I was in a state of panic for the three months waiting for my follow up! Sandi

Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2004

Yes...my mom's doctor also told us that scar tissue can be mistaken on a PET. Call your doctor to be sure and for peace of mind. My thoughts are with you!!

truejoy8's picture
Posts: 41
Joined: Jan 2004

Yes it can. The PET only show's "activity" and for some reason scar tissue/dead cancer cells show up as activity. My doctor told me that almost all lymphoma survivors end up with scar tissue that may show up on PET scans. He seemed to be able to tell the difference though...and now I'm "activity-free" ^_^

Posts: 11
Joined: May 2005

By incredible coincidence, I find your message and my next PET/CT is also scheduled for June 1st! I went to my doctor only 3 days before what was to be my last chemo with symptoms that mirrored those I had before diagnosis: back pain, neck stiffness. I had a CT and it showed something in the mediastinum, and infiltrates in one lung. Thinking I might have an infection, my doctor decided to wait since it might interfere with the PET. I am freaking out just like you, since this was completely unexpected. All my previous scans showed marked improvement, and my last PET, done in March, was clean. I had even begun to plan my life after Hodgkins, and now I,m on hold again. If you want, let me know through this site how you do on your scan. I'll look for you on the board. Only if you want,though. Don't mean to invade your privacy.

Posts: 23
Joined: Oct 2004

Thanks for your post Glorihl. Please feel free to email me at maur1026@yahoo.com Hope you are doing alright. I am just going on with life...as if nothing is wrong. It's hard sometimes, but I've decided that the constant worrying is not worth the time. I would love to chat with you. Keep your chin up!~ Maureen

Posts: 12
Joined: Aug 2005

hi i'm 21 and have had hodgkins 2x i went for my pet 3 mos ago everything looked norm .this time something showed up. i am very nervous, the dr. said he is not sure what it is. i feel fine blood work was good. maybe scar tissue or from radiation. i had a lung biospy though. so hopefully a pet,can maybe mean scar or something else. anyone else expierance this? i also had a stemmcell trans in jan o5.

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