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Abdom Imaging. 2009 Nov;34(6):668-74. doi: 10.1007/s00261-008-9450-2.

An integrated MR/PET system: prospective applications.

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Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Tuebingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Strasse 3, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany.


Radiology is strongly depending on medical imaging technology and consequently directing technological progress. A novel technology can only be established, however, if improved diagnostic accuracy influence on therapeutic management and/or overall reduced cost can be evidenced. It has been demonstrated recently that Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) can technologically be integrated into one single hybrid system. Some scientific arguments on the benefits are obvious, e.g., that simultaneous imaging of morphological and functional information will improve tissue characterization. However, crossfire of questions still remains: what unmet radiological needs are addressed by the novel system? What level of hardware integration is reasonable, or would software-based image co-registration be sufficient? Will MR/PET achieve higher diagnostic accuracy compared to separate imaging? What is the added value compared to other hybrid imaging modalities like PET/CT? And finally, is the system economically reasonable and has the potential to reduce overall costs for therapy planning and monitoring? This article tries to highlight some perspectives of applying an integrated MR/PET system for simultaneous morphologic and functional imaging.

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