At the 65th Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) recently held in Philadelphia, SNMMI selected China as the “highlight country” to showcase the rapid progress it has made “in scientific research, technology development and clinical practice in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging.”

Nearly 200 Chinese scientists and clinicians attended the conference, and nearly 400 papers were presented and displayed at the meeting, both record numbers. Performance data of several newly developed advanced systems from Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare Co., Ltd. (UIH), as well as results of clinical researches conducted on UIH equipment, were featured in multiple scientific presentations and papers.

In 2017, UIH completed the development of its high-definition TOF PET/MR, uPMR 790 – a fully integrated, simultaneous imaging 3T MR and time-of-flight PET system, and installed the system at Fudan University-affiliated Zhongshan Hospital for clinical trials. More 500 patients have been successfully scanned with the whole-body PET/MR protocol.

Performance measurements conducted jointly by Zhongshan Hospital and UIH scientists based on NEMA NU2-2012 standard were presented for the first time in the system technology scientific session. An industry-leading axial FOV of 32cm, NEMA spatial resolution of 2.8mm, a high sensitivity of 17cps/KBq, and peak noise equivalent count rate (NECR) of 135kcps were reported. The combination of the great PET and MR performances and simultaneous imaging capability make uPMR 790 a highly valuable clinical and research device.

Also spotlighted at SNMMI was Simon R. Cherry, PhD, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who received the prestigious Paul C. Aebersold Award. Cherry’s latest achievement in leading the NIH-funded EXPLORER project put the highlight on the progress in the development of the total-body PET technology and system. As the industrial partner of the EXPLORER Consortium, UIH has been working over the past two years on the design and development of the two-meter-long PET/CT system based on its own digital PET platform in close collaboration with UC Davis, and recently completed the construction of the world’s first total-body PET/CT system.

In a highly anticipated presentation about the status of the project, Prof. Ramsey D. Badawi of UC Davis showed the exciting preliminary performance measurement results and phantom images of the UIH system. An unprecedented high sensitivity of 150cps/KBq (NE-MA 2012 equivalent of 200cps/KBq), peak NECR of 2,106kcps based on extended NEMA NU2-2012 standard were achieved. Coupled with an estimated sub-3mm high spatial resolution, the system shows great potentials for doing ultra-fast, ultra-low-dose, as well as total-body dynamic PET imaging, which will enable a wide range of advanced applications that are not possible on the current generation systems.

Accurate quantification in non-FDG body imaging presents a big challenge, as emphasized by Prof. Richard E. Carson of Yale University in his Henry N. Wagner lecture on Quantitative Nuclear Imaging. The accuracy depends on a variety of factors such as the method, timing, the performance of the system and data processing algorithm. Researchers from Nanjing No.1 Hospital(also known as also known as Affiliated Nanjing Hospital of Nanjing Medical University) presented their research work on the optimization of imaging time based on dynamic 18F-DOPA scans for evaluation of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Nanjing No. 1 Hospital  performs all research and clinical scans on its UIH uMI 780 digital detector PET/CT scanner, a clinical whole-body system which has received regulatory approval in China, EU, Japan, and U.S. uMI 780 features a powerful combination of key system specifications, including the largest axial FoV of 30cm, high PET sensitivity of 16cps/KBq, and high spatial resolutions of 2.9mm. With high-definition, time-of-flight reconstruction algorithms, and advanced features like patient motion compensation, the system delivers excellent image quality and extensive flexibilities to meet the demanding clinical and research needs of the hospital.