The requesting practitioner can request a PSMA PET-CT scan for several reasons. The most requested indications are:

  • To assess the extensiveness of the disease prior to treatment
  • There is a measurable PSA following earlier radical treatment (e.g. surgery or radiotherapy) Where is this tumor recurrence located?

A patient does not need to make any specific preparations prior to the examination. They report to the Nuclear Medicine department for the examination. Next, they are given an IV for administration of the radioactive substance into the vein. Sometimes the patient is given a short questionnaire with questions that are relevant to the study. A doctor connects the syringe containing radioactive PSMA to the IV and administers the radiopharmaceutical. This is followed by a rinse with physiological saline water to ensure that all active substances have been administered.

Depending on the type of PSMA (Gallium or Fluorine) and the local protocol, there is a 1-2 hour waiting time between the injection and the scan. After the waiting period, the scan starts. First, the low dose CT scan, without contrast medium, is performed. The PET scan is made immediately afterwards, in total this examination takes between 20 and 45 minutes. Images are made from the head to the thighs.

In addition to the low dose CT, some centers also make a diagnostic contrast CT. This is not a requirement for a good investigation, although it can be advantageous by helping a doctor to better characterize small abnormalities on the PET scan.

After the scan, the nuclear medicine physician evaluates the scan. The patient receives the results from the doctor that requested the scan.