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Cathleen Mary
Posts: 827
Joined: May 2011


Hoping all with tests this week receive good news. 

Today, I had a PET scan because of increasing CEA and lower back pain. The tech forgot to give me two bottles todrink and only gave me one. This wasn't discovered until after the scan. I have only had one previous PET, 3 yrs ago, and didn't remember that there should be two. When it was discovered, the tech dismissed my concerns saying 'it doesn't matter, it will do.'. If it doesn't matter, why does the protocol say two? Her response "we get better pics with two.". Since my health partly depends on the quality of the images, it matters very much to me.  I left the hospital both concerned and upset.

Am I over reacting?  I had 50mg of benedryl on board ( allergic to contrast) so didn't feel I advocated well for myself.  I have an appointment with onc next Monday but I am tempted to let him know beforehand.  Is my scan anxiety causing me to over react?  


Cathleen Mary

Maxiecat's picture
Posts: 544
Joined: Jul 2012

I think you have every right to question it.  Your Dr may want to repeat the scan if the radiologist can't see the scan very clearly.  I had a Ct scan last week, it was reviewed by one radiologist last week and is now being rereviewed this week...no issues with the contrast here...they are looking for signs of mucous in the peritoneum.


marbleotis's picture
Posts: 714
Joined: Mar 2012

I would call your Onc tomorrow and let them know the issue.  We count on the accuraccy of these tests to save our lives.  I would also call the head of Rad at the place you had procedure done and let them know.

That is unacceptable!  You should never be made to feel uncomfortable - you did nothing wrong.


Best of luck keep us posted.

maglets's picture
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

oh Cathleen Mary....I am so sorry that happened to you.  Gosh and golly why are things never hard enough....have to be made harder? I too think you should call the onc's office ahead of time....sorry I cannot help....not much experience with that test....

good luck ....if you are really uncomfortable for sure call....


all the best, mary margaret

steveandnat's picture
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

I don't want any doubt about the images. The tech doesn't get it..it's not her health. I would tell the onc becausemay want want to have them redone. Jeff

thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

I would contact the hospital Administration.  Ask them if the procedure was free, or do they need to talk to my attourney. They have endangered my health by making me either take another procedure, or not having a quality procedure done. 


I am not tollerant to bad medical work any more.  If they want to practice, I want a professional.


Best Always, mike

AnnLouise's picture
Posts: 276
Joined: Mar 2013

When I have my pet scans, they give me medicine through an IV, and then I wait an hour before the pet scan. But I do know you should follow-up immediately with the hospital and the oncologist. It is really important to have them aware of the mistake....it is too bad you had to leave the hospital concerned and upset about this, when it stressful enough already. Thinking of you....~ Ann

wolfen's picture
Posts: 1329
Joined: Apr 2009

You must always be your own advocate. For every fine health professional out there , you'll find several who aren't so fine. My hubby's health has rapidly deteriorated due to those who didn't care enough to read or listen. It's your life, certainly not theirs, and IMHO, is much more valuable.



John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007


That stuff you drink is contrast, and is different than the stuff they pump into your veins during the scan.


With contrast, there really isn’t a set amount that you “absolutely need” to get a clear picture.


I have a “short bowel” and it’s impossible for my system to keep as little as ½ bottle in me for more than fifteen minutes; drinking more than ½ is nearly useless, as is drinking it too long prior to the scan. The scans come out the same, regardless of the amount, provided the scan is within 15 minutes of my drinking it.


Please let us all know on this thread, what your Oncologist says about it? It would be good to put some worried minds to rest!


Be well!!



Cathleen Mary
Posts: 827
Joined: May 2011

Thank you, one and all!  I emailed my oncologist this morning and he called me.  He listened, took my concerns seriously, and said he will see the radiologist and review films with him personally.  If quality  compromised, they will repeat scan,  He did say the quality may not have been significantly compromised because of the same reasons John indicated in his response to me.  

I so appreciate all of your support and advice.  It empowered  me to act on my own behalf . 

Cathleen Mary

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Cathleen

But, wanted to add....

At my first practice, they always gave me 2 bottles to drink....I never questioned it and figured they adjusted for weight etc.

I always had a terrible time hours later when it came time for the contrast to run its course through my digetive tract and all of that.  And it was very hard on my kidneys too.

My first scan at my new practice, they gave me 1-bottle...I asked about it and they said it was enough...and it's the standard that they use....which seems to be good for me......less diarrhea to contend with afterwards and my kidneys have a little bit easier time.....and that's a good thing as they have been compromised from Irinotecan....so any help is good with keeping my kidneys as functional as they can be - for as long as they can be.

I can see how you're upset though...alot of times the way they dismiss our questions makes us feel insecure about a good many things....we become creatures of habit and therefore we recognize right away when something is different than the last time.

Anyway, it's behind you now....but just wanted to let you know that one bottle seems okay with regards to imaging.


Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

It has been about 3 years for me since I did a PET. But when I did they never gave me barium. Just an injection of the radioactive glucose.

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

This was a CT/PET combo scan.....

Cathleen Mary
Posts: 827
Joined: May 2011


Yes, it was a PET/CT scan. Again, thanks for all of your responses.  As usual, I learned a lot. It is great to have a community that understands how frustrating things can become.  It still surprise me that little things can throw me off center while I seem to handle bigger issues better.

Be well.

Cathleen Mary

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