MR/PET combined scanner

November 21, 2010

PET/CT is a reality nowadays. PET provides functional information, while CT gives high resolution morphological information. The combination of both in one image perfectly aligned is highly important for a more accurate disease assessment. However, CT gives poor detail of soft-tissue and it involves a considerable amount of radiation, which means that MR/PET would be of high relevance. Having said that, it seemed to be nearly impossible to integrate MR and PET technologies: the conventional PET detectors, which use photomultiplier tubes, could not be used in the strong magnetic field generated by an MR system. Integration was further limited by the lack of space inside the MR device. Those difficulties seem to be part of the past, according to Siemens.
Biograph mMR Whole-Body Integrated MR-PET System is currently undergoing clinical use testing (not commercially available yet – no 510k yet).