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Phys Med Biol. 2010 Jan 7;55(1):265-80. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/55/1/016.

Studies of the interactions of an MRI system with the shielding in a combined PET/MRI scanner.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA, USA.


A positron emission tomography (PET) system or 'insert' has been constructed for placement and operation in the bore of a small animal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner to allow simultaneous MR and PET imaging. The insert contains electronics, components with a variety of magnetic properties and large continuous sheets of metal--all characteristics of an object that should, by conventional wisdom, never be placed in the bore of an MR scanner, especially near the imaging volume. There are a variety of ways the two systems might be expected to interact that could negatively impact the performance of either or both. In this article, the interaction mechanisms, particularly the impact of the PET insert and shielding on MR imaging, are defined and explored. Additionally, some of the difficulties in quantifying errors introduced into the MR images as a result of the presence of the PET components are demonstrated. Several different approaches are used to characterize image artifacts and determine optimal placement of the shielding. Data are also presented that suggest ways the shielding could be modified to reduce errors and enable placement closer to the isocenter of the magnet.

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