A first: Simultaneous PET/MR images of the brain debut, increase molecular imaging capabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C.The world's first PET/MR images of the human braintaken simultaneously by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and magnetic resonance (MR)debuted during the 54th Annual Meeting of SNM, the world's largest society for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine professionals, June 26 in Washington, D.C.

"Here at SNM's Annual Meeting, we are showing the first simultaneously acquired PET/MR images of the human brain," noted Bernd J. Pichler, associate professor and head of the Laboratory for Preclinical Imaging and Imaging Technology in the Department of Radiology at the University of Tuebingen in Germany. "PET/MR, acquired in one measurement, presents a tremendous leap forward in imaging capabilities. PET/MRacquired in one measurementhas the potential to become the imaging modality of choice for neurological studies, certain forms of cancer, stroke and the emerging study of stem cell therapy," he added. "We expect that PET/MR will open new doors in understanding the pathologies and progression of various neurological disorders like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, epilepsy, depression and schizophrenia," he emphasized.

"The feasibility of simultaneous PET/MR imaging in humans opens new potentials in the emerging field of molecular imaging. Our data prove that the PET/MR scanner allows even multifunctional imaging with PET, functional MRI (fMRI) and spectroscopy," said Pichler, indicating this exciting work was made possible by a collaborative effort of researchers from the universities of Tennessee and Tuebingen (in Germany) and Siemens Medical Solutions. "PET/MR is an imaging technique that brings the exceptional soft tissue contrast and high specificity of MR together with PET's excellent sensitivity in assessing physiological and metabolic state," he added.

Combined or hybrid technologiessuch as PET/CT and SPECT/CTincorporate both imaging modalities into one machine but conduct the two scans sequentially (one after the o

Contact: Maryann Verrillo
Society of Nuclear Medicine

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