Volume 14 Supplement 1

Proceedings of the International Cancer Imaging Society (ICIS) 14th Annual Teaching Course

Open Access

Hybrid imaging with PET/CT and PET/MR

Cancer Imaging201414(Suppl 1):O32

https://doi.org/10.1186/1470-7330-14-S1-O32

Published: 9 October 2014

Hybrid PET/MRI systems have recently become commercially available with potential to change medical imaging by providing combined anatomical-metabolic image information. Especially in cancer patients, this may be of benefit.

PET itself is widely used in everyday routine due to its capability of providing molecular information used mainly for the non-invasive characterization of tumors and metastases [1, 2], as well as for monitoring effect of cancer therapy [3]. However, PET images contain no detailed anatomical information and, therefore benefits from fusion with morphological image information from CT. Accordingly, since PET/CT systems became available oncological PET examinations have mainly been performed as combined PET/CT which has been proven of higher diagnostic value than separate PET or CT imaging in a number of clinical indications [4]. Recently, hybrid PET/MRI scanners were introduced and made available. However, PET/MRI is more costly and with a lower throughput than PET/CT. Accordingly, the question arises when and if PET/MRI should be used in cancer patients. MRI has the advantages compared to CT, that it may also be considered a functional imaging technique in addition to its anatomical capabilities. This may be of particular relevance in cancer patients in view of need for planning tailored therapy and for monitoring response to treatment [5, 6]. Compared to CT, also the anatomical capabilities of MRI are often superior due to better soft-tissue contrast.

The knowledge obtained from molecular imaging-guided therapies e.g. using FDG-PET for predicting therapy response in lymphomas [7], could quickly be transferred to PET/MRI, for a combined multi-parametric strategy. Accordingly, hybrid PET/MRI scanners might become game-changers for how MRI is used in clinical routine.

At the Department of Clinical Physiology, Nuclear Medicine & PET at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen we have currently PET/MRI scanned more than 1,200 patients and our experience so far will be presented and discussed with focus on whether PET/MRI fulfills a real clinical need within oncology or should (still) be considered an expensive research tool and the challenges of PET/MRI [8, 9].

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Dept. of Clinical Physiology, Nuclear Medicine & PET, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen

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© Kjaer; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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