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Medical Imaging

CT radiation portion, which is typically 20-50 percent of the radiation burden of a PET scan. While this is not relevant in many patients suffering from malignant tumors, it may well be relevant in patients suffering from inflammatory disease and in the pediatric popu- lation. As stated above, a PET/CT-MR scan is a research mode designed to explore where PET/MR may be supe- rior to PET/CT imaging.

4. What, according to you, are the challenges we face with the onset of Pet/Ct +mr scan? The major challenge of a PET/CT-MR scan is that it is a lengthy procedure with high cost, as it really requires that all three modalities are used and potentially billed to the patient resulting in increasing healthcare costs. But as stat- ed above, this combination is designed mainly to evaluate whether and where the CT portion of the examination can be entirely replaced by MR.

5. Since molecular imaging is a rapidly evolving field, where do you expect to see it a few years from now?

Molecular imaging has made major inroads in tumor stag- ing and therapy monitoring and is bound to evolve further in this field.

The most prominent foreseeable clinical applica-

tion of PET will be in the earlier diagnosis of dementia. Whether, and in which form, PET/MR will be relevant in this application, has to be proven clinically. However, PET/CT seems not to be providing any major advantage over PET alone in this disease entity. MR is the anatom- ic method of choice in dementia and so a combination of PET and MR in these diseases may be beneficial. However, whether simultaneous PET/MR, sequential PET-MR or separate PET and MR supported by software image fusion will be the most appropriate way to clini- cally evaluate patients with dementia is currently not known. Systems such as PET/CT-MR are ideal systems to evaluate what kind of combination of imaging will be needed. Research applications of PET as a molecular imag-

ing tool in combination with CT or MR are innumerous and it is assumed that much of imaging research will focus on how to use these imaging tools in the next ten years. In the quest of understanding the role of PET, CT and MR in the research fields of oncology, inflam- mation, brain and cardiovascular disease it will also become clear, which kind of integrated imaging can be used to better advantage in these disease entities in a clinical setting.


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