Measurement Tools

Discover all of the different techniques and tools that might be used to assess response to treatment in blood cancers.



A positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) scan utilizes both PET and CT simultaneously to create a single, overlaid image of the body.

Combining PET with CT generally creates a more detailed and precise images

than using PET or CT techniques alone.


A positron emission tomography (PET) scan uses a radioactive sugar called fludeoxyglucose F 18 (abbreviated [18F]FDG, 18F-FDG or FDG)– sometimes referred to as a radiotracer – to highlight areas of the body that may contain cancer cells. The tracer may be injected, swallowed or inhaled, depending on which organ or tissue is being studied. The tracer collects in cells that have high levels of metabolic activity, which often corresponds to areas of disease. These areas show up as bright spots on the PET scan.


A computed tomography (CT) scan uses a combination of X-ray imaging and computer processing to develop 3-D, cross-sectional pictures of the body that are more detailed than plain X-ray images. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help tissues and organs show up more clearly. You may also hear this procedure referred to as a “computerized tomography scan” or “computerized axial tomography” (CAT) scan.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) combines radio waves and a powerful magnet to create detailed pictures of the body, especially soft tissues. To make certain structures more visible, a contrast agent may be injected. MRI is sometimes used in combination with a CT or PET scan.


X-ray imaging is used to create single exposure pictures of the inside of the body. X-ray beams are absorbed in different amounts depending on the density of the material they pass through. For some types of X-ray tests, a contrast medium is introduced into the body to provide greater detail on the images.

next steps

Find resources that can help you prepare to talk with your doctor about disease level testing and how it might play a part in your treatment plan.