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PET CT Scan Machine Cost Guide

Oct 26, 2020 | Articles, CT

PET CT Scan Machine Cost Guide

A Positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging tool that allows the user to recognize changes in the body using molecular imaging. It also uses a radioactive tracer, which collects in areas of the body with greater chemical activity, typically the site of disease. The tracer can be  injected, swallowed or inhaled. The high activity areas show up as bright spots on a PET Scan. They cause about as much exposure to radiation as an x-ray would. PET scans are commonly used to detect cancers, heart problems, brain disorders and nervous system disorders. 

Unlike a PET scan, the computed tomography (CT) scan uses x-rays to create detailed images of the body in about 5 to 10 minutes. CT scans are more economical than PET scans or MRIs. CT scans are quick, painless, and non-invasive, but do expose patients to a small amount of radiation, and for this reason are not recommended for children or pregnant women. 

Sometimes, doctors and healthcare workers use a combination of information from a PET scan and a CT scan, in order to form a more complete picture of the patient’s physical and physiological states. PET-CT scans are often used to diagnose cancer and to determine what stage it is in. From there, doctors can understand how the cancer is affecting the body, and therefore, what the best course of treatment is.    


The Difference Between PET CT and CT Scans

While a CT scan can create detailed images of the body and its inner structures, a PET-CT scan can provide a more current picture of activity within the body, and show changes in the body sooner. In addition to providing information about the stage of cancerous cells, PET-CT scans can also learn if your treatment is working, check the body for returned cancer cells after treatment is over, find the right place for a biopsy, and plan radiation therapy

Using a radioactive sugar solution called a tracer, the PET scan identifies which parts of the body are using higher amounts of energy by watching where the tracer accumulates and is absorbed the most. Typically, cancer cells require and use more energy than normal cells, so the accumulation of the tracer as viewed through the PET-CT scan reveals information about the location of cancer cells in the body. 

The CT scan then takes detailed pictures of specific parts of the body. The composite information between the PET and CT scans provide a detailed, 3D result that shows anything abnormal, including cancerous growth. Although both the PET and CT scans both expose the patient to a small amount of radiation, the benefits of the PET-CT scan far outweigh the risks. The combination PET-CT scan allows the doctor to better diagnose the patient’s condition.


PET-CT Scan Machine costs   

PET-CT scanners come in both fixed and mobile versions, and whether you buy new, used or refurbished, price can vary across manufacturers and models. A new generation PET-CT machine can cost between $1.5 and $2 million. 

Used PET-CT scan machines can cost from $200,000 to $700,000, including equipment installation, one-year parts and service warranty, and applications training. Like all imaging equipment, these machines incur operating costs and replacement costs down the road, but are much more reasonably priced that the PET/MR or MRI machines.

As with other imaging equipment, slice count can make a difference in price as well. Generally speaking, the higher the slice count, the more expensive the equipment will be.  Basic models, tier I, include GE Discovery LS and ST, Siemens Biograph 6 and 16-slice, and the Philips Gemini TF 16. These models can run from $200,000 to $250,000.


Tier II models are slightly more advanced versions, with more innovative technology and usually higher slice counts. These include models such as the GE Discovery STE, VCT

Siemens TruePoint and Biograph 40 and 60, and the Philips TF 64, and can range from $300,000 to $450,000. The most advanced models of PET-CT scan machines include the  

GE Discovery 610 and 710, the Siemens mCT and Siemens Biograph Horizon. These tier III models range between $450,000 and $700,000 


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