PETMRI in oncology

Author(s): Sofia Michopouolou, David Brown, Simon Wan

Hospital: University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Reference: RAD Magazine, 41, 487, 23-25


Combined positron emission tomography/ magnetic resonance imaging (PETMRI) has received heightened interest recently with the introduction of commercially available systems having full body imaging capability. PET imaging with radiolabelled tracers, the most widely used being F18-deoxyglucose (FDG), allows direct probing of metabolism with exquisite sensitivity, demonstrating pathophysiological change before any structural change becomes apparent. With full body coverage achievable in a reasonable scan time and coupled with enhanced anatomical information from computed tomography (CT), PETCT has attained influential roles in imaging management of oncological patients within the decade or so since the introduction of hybrid PETCT systems. MRI, on the other hand, provides superior soft tissue contrast required in detailed lesion characterisation and in definition of anatomical boundaries, which is key to assessment of local extent in tumours in many body parts as diverse as gynaecological, prostate, rectal and head and neck tumours (T-staging as per widely adopted TNM staging system).

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