A patient with a recent history of a dry cough has had a chest x-ray that revealed the presence of nodules. In an effort to determine whether the nodules are malignant or benign, the primary care provider is likely to order aA) Thoracentesis.B) Pulmonary angiogram.C) CT scan of the patient’s chest.D) Positron emission tomography (PET).
PET is used to distinguish benign and malignant pulmonary nodules. Because malignant lung cells have an increased uptake of glucose, the PET scan, which uses an IV radioactive glucose preparation, can demonstrate increased uptake of glucose in malignant lung cells. This differentiation cannot be made using CT, a pulmonary angiogram, or thoracentesis.