PET Scans with a Pacemaker

Last Modified: December 4, 2005


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
My 88 yr. old mother is scheduled to have a PET scan this week but has a pacemaker. Can this test be performed on a patient with a pacemaker?


Peeyush Bhargava, MD, Chief Fellow in the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

Patients with metallic implants, prostheses, pacemakers, or other devices can safely undergo a whole body PET scan . These devices are not a contraindication to performing the exam.

Patients should remember to inform the technologist about the presence of these devices at the time of the scan. If recently placed, these can give rise to inflammatory FDG uptake around them, similar to how a tumor would, so this would need to be clarified. These can also cause artifacts if the patients are undergoing a PET-CT study, with the CT data being used for correction of PET images. Usually, with prior knowledge, the radiologist is able to read around these artifacts or to recognize them on the images.


How to Find the Cancer Resources You Need - Brown Bag Web Chat
by OncoLink Editorial Team
June 15, 2011

Where Are the Adults in the Room?
by Rodney Warner, JD
November 20, 2015

Related News

Demographic Variation in Early PET Scan Use for NSCLC

Jun 11, 2013

From 1998 to 2007, more scans for married, non-black, <80-year-old patients with lung cancer

PET-CT Prognostic After Induction Tx in Follicular Lymphoma

Sep 19, 2014

Patients with positive post-induction PET scan have improved progression-free, overall survival

Bone Marrow Biopsy Adds Little to PET/CT Staging of Hodgkin's

Nov 15, 2012

Absence of positive bone marrow biopsy for patients with PET/CT-assessed stage I, II disease