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What's going on in the body? Advanced time-of-flight PET takes a superior 'look'

WASHINGTON, D.C.Moving from computer simulation to patient images, researchers are now demonstrating the benefits that time-of-flight (TOF)/PET (positron emission tomography) imaging can provide for cancer patients. The result? Superior images and shorter patient scan times for starters, according to a study released at the 54th Annual Meeting of SNM, the world's largest society for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine professionals, June 26 in Washington, D.C.

"Our TOF/PET patient images exhibit superior image quality and suggest that shorter patient scan times could be performed in many cases," said Amy Perkins, a Philips Medical Systems clinical site scientist based at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. "Previously, we have studied TOF/PET with computer simulations and controlled experiments to approximate the behavior within the human body, showing that we can get very good image quality with shorter scanning times," she said. "We have now moved our investigation to clinical studiesusing PET scans from patients with a wide range of body weight, with different types of cancer and with different size cancer tumorsto determine whether the scan time may be reduced significantly without sacrificing clinical content," added Perkins. "In our study, we are getting an excellent representation of what's going on in the body," she added.

Very simply, conventional PET scanners create images by detecting gamma rays produced by a radioisotope after it is administered to a patient. Conventional scans track where the rays go, but they don't take into consideration the precise time it takes for each ray to reach the PET detector. TOF/PET scanners measure this time difference with precision, enabling the images to be reconstructed with significantly improved image quality, said Perkins. PET combined with computed tomography (CT) imaging enables the collection of both biological and anatomical information during a single exam, with PET pickin
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Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
4-Jun-2007


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