Introduction to Combining MRI with PET

Authored by: Volkmar Schulz , Jakob Wehner , Yannick Berker

Handbook of Small Animal Imaging

Print publication date:  April  2016
Online publication date:  February  2016

Print ISBN: 9781466555686
eBook ISBN: 9781466555693
Adobe ISBN:


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The combination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with positron emission tomography (PET) into an integrated MRI–PET device is considered to be enriching the field of molecular imaging. The main advantages of this new combination are the outstanding soft-tissue contrast of the anatomical and functional information from MRI combined with the high sensitivity of PET, which allows the observation of molecular (e.g., metabolic) processes. A good illustration of the gain in soft-tissue contrast is given in Figure 13.1, in which single-modality images of the same object (mouse) from PET, MRI, and CT are reproduced (Wehrl et al. 2009). In this figure, the high soft-tissue contrast of the MR image clearly shows details of the kidney anatomy, such as its cortex, which matches well with the 64Cu-labeled monoclonal antibody uptake in the PET images. Compared to the MRI, the CT image in Figure 13.1 only shows very minor soft-tissue contrast and is thus lacking anatomical details of the kidneys. In the fused MRI–PET image, the high uptake of 64Cu could be clearly assigned to the cortex of the kidney.

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