School of Medicine

Epilepsy Center

Diagnosis -PET

PET stands for positron emission tomography. It is a procedure in which a picture of the brain is taken that shows blood flow and metabolic activity. In many cases where there is one abnormal brain area causing seizures, the PET scan shows a ‘cold' spot of hypometabolism, as shown in the figure below (the arrow points to the temporal lobe with less metabolism - i.e., less color). This information is useful for diagnosing the cause of epilepsy and for surgical planning.