CPT® 78812, Under Other Diagnostic Nuclear Medicine Procedures

The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code 78812 as maintained by American Medical Association, is a medical procedural code under the range - Other Diagnostic Nuclear Medicine Procedures.

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PET scans are highly effective in the detection of cancerous cells in the body. A PET scan provides a three–dimensional image of the body that makes it easy to detect the presence of a malignant tumor. Cancer cells have a higher metabolic rate than normal body cells and a PET scan takes advantage of this while imaging. The patient is injected with a radiopharmaceutical tracer called FDG (fluoro–deoxyglucose, a radioactive substance containing glucose) one hour prior to the scheduled imaging. The radiotracer spreads throughout the body through the blood stream and gets absorbed by cells and starts emitting small amounts of energy (positrons). The positrons collide with electrons resulting in the production of photons that travel in opposite directions. The photon emission is captured by the PET scanner and processed with a computer to produce a three–dimensional image of the body tissues. Cancerous cells show a high radiotracer uptake and are highly visible in the scan in comparison to healthy cells.

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