MRI/PET scanner combo

Mar 07, 2008

Two kinds of body imaging -- positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) -- have been combined for the first time in a single scanner.

MRI scans provide exquisite structural detail but little functional information, while PET scans -- which follow a radioactive tracer in the body -- can show body processes but not structures, said Simon Cherry, professor and chair of biomedical engineering at UC Davis. Cherry's lab built the scanner for studies with laboratory mice, for example in cancer research.

"We can correlate the structure of a tumor by MRI with the functional information from PET, and understand what's happening inside a tumor," Cherry said.

Combining the two types of scan in a single machine is difficult because the two systems interfere with each other. MRI scanners rely on very strong, very smooth magnetic fields that can easily be disturbed by metallic objects inside the scanner. At the same time, those magnetic fields can seriously affect the detectors and electronics needed for PET scanning. There is also a limited amount of space within the scanner in which to fit everything together, Cherry noted.

Scanners that combine computer-assisted tomography (CAT) and PET scans are already available, but CAT scans provide less structural detail than MRI scans, especially of soft tissue, Cherry said. They also give the patient a dose of radiation from X-rays.

The photomultiplier tubes used in conventional PET machines are very sensitive to magnetic fields. So the researchers used a new technology -- the silicon avalanche photodiode detector -- in their machine. They were able to show that the scanner could acquire accurate PET and MRI images at the same time from test objects and mice.

Source: University of California - Davis

Explore further: 'Beach body' ads investigated after outcry in Britain

Related Stories

FDA clears Siemens' 2-in-1 medical scanner

Jun 10, 2011

(AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration says it has cleared the first medical imaging device to simultaneously perform two powerful scans used to diagnose a wide variety of diseases and ailments.

Prototype for first traceable PET-MR phantom

Jan 26, 2015

As cancer diagnostic tools, a new class of imagers – which combines positron-emission tomography (PET) with magnetic resonance imaging (MR or MRI) – has shown promise in the few years since these hybrid ...

Introducing the multi-tasking nanoparticle

Aug 26, 2014

Kit Lam and colleagues from UC Davis and other institutions have created dynamic nanoparticles (NPs) that could provide an arsenal of applications to diagnose and treat cancer. Built on an easy-to-make polymer, these particles ...

Virtual reality guides those whose memory is failing

Aug 20, 2014

Experts agree that the ability to navigate a neighborhood or built space is one of the first faculties to suffer at the onset of cognitive decline. They also agree that early intervention is crucial for stemming ...

The science that stumped Einstein

Jul 01, 2014

In 1908, the physics world woke up to a puzzle whose layers have continued to stump the greatest scientists of the century ever since. That year, Dutch physicist Kamerlingh Onnes cooled mercury down to -450° ...

Recommended for you

Dutch DSM posts Q1 slump

Apr 29, 2015

Dutch pharmaceutical group DSM posted a 70 million euro first quarter net loss Wednesday despite an 11 percent jump in sales, boosted by higher animal nutrition volumes and favourable exchange rates.

New meds help drugmakers weather strong dollar, other issues

Apr 28, 2015

Revenue from important new medicines for various cancers, hepatitis C and more helped top U.S. drugmakers weather unfavorable currency exchange rates and other challenges. Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jburchel
5 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2008
Very old story... I guess if there is nothing new to report, recycle huh?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.