Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: This week, two Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanners were launched in two separate healthcare institutions in the city.

The first was at Global Hospitals and Health City at Perumbakkam, and the other was inaugurated by Local Administration Minister M.K. Stalin and Transport Minister K.N. Nehru at HCG Anderson on Poonamalee High Road, Purasawalkam, on Wednesday. Both instruments are 64 slice PET CT scanners.

The PET scanner is a well-established diagnostic tool for cancer assessment. During the diagnostic procedure, an isotope (18F FDG), tagged to sugar molecules, is injected into the body. Cancerous cells consume sugar faster than normal cells, so when the tagged isotope is being consumed, it emits signals called positrons that the PET scanner picks up, K.G. Kallur, Director, PET CT and Cyclotron, Bangalore Institute of Oncology of the HCG Group, explained.

According to physicians at both centres, the PET scanner can provide information about the problem long before it actually shows up on any conventional diagnostic equipment. The scanner can also show if a tumour is benign or cancerous and indicate the stage of the disease, giving physicians valuable information about the spread of the disease.

B.S. Ajai Kumai, chairman, HealthCare Global Enterprises, said the facility would be a stand alone diagnostic unit for the 64-Slice PET CT Scanner.