This new system represents a major technological breakthrough in the imaging field. Specifically, this system allows simultaneous acquisition of MR and PET images in human subjects. "Simultaneous" is emphasized since it allows acquisition of both MR and PET images at the same time without delay. For a comparison, current PET/CT acquires PET and CT images in a sequential fashion, acquiring PET images, followed by moving patient table to the CT end for obtaining CT images. Therefore, combining the detailed anatomical information offered by MR, high sensitivity to in vivo molecular events from PET, and substantially reduced iodize radiation when compared to PET/CT, this new MRPET scanner most likely will not only improve patient throughput but also open new avenues of research projects and clinical applications.
We are very fortunate to receive the fourth whole body MRPET scanner in the US (behind MGH, NIH, and WU), which should give us tremendous advantages in new grant funding opportunities as well as be the leaders of this new field of imaging research.
The BRIC will host a MR/PET symposium to kick off this exciting endeavor. The symposium is scheduled for Thursday, November 10, 2011. Please see Events section for more information and link to registration.