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Phys Med Biol. 2008 Feb 21;53(4):R1-R39. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/53/4/R01. Epub 2008 Jan 28.

Multimodality imaging of structure and function.

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Departments of Medicine and Radiology, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, TN 37920, USA.


Historically, medical devices to image either anatomical structure or functional processes have developed along somewhat independent paths. The recognition that combining images from different modalities can nevertheless offer significant diagnostic advantages gave rise to sophisticated software techniques to coregister structure and function. Recently, alternatives to retrospective software-based fusion have become available through instrumentation that combines two imaging modalities within a single device, an approach that has since been termed hardware fusion. As a result, following their recent introduction into the clinic, combined PET/CT and SPECT/CT devices are now playing an increasingly important role in the diagnosis and staging of human disease. Recently, although limited to the brain, the first clinical MR scanner with a PET insert, a technically-challenging design, has been undergoing evaluation. This review will follow the development of multimodality instrumentation for clinical use from conception to present-day technology and assess the status and future potential for such devices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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