AJNR: Integrated PET/MR could have role in tumor neuroimaging

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A recent communication published in the November issue of American Journal of Neuroradiology highlighted perspectives of the hybrid PET/MR imaging systems for brain neoplasms.

“Different imaging modalities are now available for experimental and clinical brain surveys, but MR and PET imaging remain the cutting-edge methods for acquiring excellent spatial brain images combined with physiologic and functional information about brain tissue,” wrote Sotirios Bisdas, MD, from the department of diagnostic and interventional neuroradiology at Eberhard Karls University in Tubingen, Germany and colleagues.

Combining these two imaging modalities into one multi-technique unit is important for the following reasons according to the authors:
1) The combined unit may improve diagnostic accuracy by achieving an excellent spatial correlation between PET and MRI acquisitions;
2) It may improve tissue characterization by enabling real-time functional and physiologic imaging and avoiding diagnostic compromises due to a two-step data acquisition and a side-by-side reading; and
3) The combined PET/MR imaging may reduce the overall patient time and financial burden, offering a wider population penetration for the new technique.

Bisdas and colleagues concluded that the present PET/MR imaging system is in its early stages of development and several technologic and methodic issues (i.e., the attenuation correction of PET data) have to be addressed before PET/MR imaging can establish itself as a routine exam.