Just-right PET/CT imaging for patients of all sizes

SAN DIEGO, Calif.--Researchers discovered that diagnostic accuracy of images can be improved for people of varying weight and size with use of a fully 3-D, time-of-flight positron emission tomography (PET) with computed tomography (CT) scanner. Their findings were presented during SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting June 37 in San Diego.

"This new time-of-flight scanner--used with LYSO detector crystals--will improve the diagnostic accuracy of images, potentially leading to improved sensitivity and specificity in cancer lesion detection tasks in heavy patients, who have traditionally been difficult to image," said Suleman Surti, a research assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. "The current generation of PET scanners is limited in the quality of images produced for those patients who are overweight," he said. "This new technology can also reduce scan times for small- and average-size patients without losing diagnostic accuracy," added the co-author of "Imaging Performance of an LYSO-Based TOF PET Scanner."

PET--a unique medical imaging procedure that provides information about the body's chemistry, cell function and location of disease--provides earlier diagnosis, more accurate cancer tumor location and better assessment of patient response to chemotherapy and radiation therapy compared with other imaging techniques. PET can search for cancer in the entire body in a single exam and reveal any metastases (spread) and the primary site. PET involves imaging radioactive events inside a patient that emit two simultaneous and almost coincidental photons, which are detected by the PET scanner, said Surti. "If the exact location and arrival time of these photons in the PET detector are measured, then a precise estimate of the activity distribution within the patient can be obtained; however, in reality, this is not the case," he said. In the past, PET scanners that achieved very good position localization did so at the expense of precise information

Contact: Maryann Verrillo
Society of Nuclear Medicine

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