British Lung Foundation
33,793 members41,243 posts

Just been diagnosed

I had a pet scan in relation to my PMR and when the result came back it said Emphysema. I had previously been to my GP because I seem to get short of breath if climbing hills or stair. He did an xray which showed nothing. The Pet scan did show it.

I wonder how they will know what stage I am at. I cannot tolerate iodine so am unsore if I will be offered a CT scan. What other test are available.


7 Replies

I think you mean a cat scan not a pet scan! I believe this should show the level of damage in your lungs though I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong. x


A PET scan (positron emission tomography, I think) is a scan that shows how organs etc are working. I had one to see if my lung cancer had spread. (They didn't spot any spread of the cancer, thank goodness - but told me that my left kidney didn't work and quite possibly never had since the day I was born!) PET scans are less common than others because the scanners and the procedure are very expensive and most hospitals won't have one.

1 like

Hello Jen,I,ve had two CT scans and as far as I know no iodine was involved so not sure what you mean.D.


The contrast used for CT scans is usually in iodine and so not recommended for people with an iodine allergy or intolerance. When you tell them, Jen, they may have an alternative? Good luck.


Thanks Elja,so the iodine is in the machine?If so why would it affect the patient,just showing my ignorance?D.


I'm no expert (as you can tell!) but I've had (like many people on here, I expect) quite a number of CT scans. For some of them, I was injected with something which shows up in the scan: "contrast", I think they call it. I can't remember for sure if there were any when I didn't get an injection first but I think there may have been. Maybe it depends on what they're looking for. Soon after they inject you, you feel as if you've wet yourself (luckily they warn you about this sensation as it would be pretty alarming otherwise!) Anyway, that's where the iodine comes in - it's the medium they use for the injection, though I didn't know that until I read Jen's post.


Hi all. Sorry to just get back but I lost this page and had to trawl through my emails.

Yes it was a PET scan. The reason for it was not looking at my lungs but looking for inflammation associated with another condition (Polymyalgia). They have reported emphysema on both lungs.

I had no symptoms until they put me on a steroid for my PMR which I believe exacerbates the emphysema.

I guess i am pretty upset at the diagnosis as I had given up smoking 5 years ago.

I just wonder what other tests would confirm what stage the emphysema is at.


You may also like...