f01b.jpg (7192 bytes)When it comes to hybrid imaging — the merging of functional positron emission tomography images and anatomical CT images — the sum is clearly greater than its parts (but they’re pretty strong too). And the sum of PET and CT, historically referred to as fusion imaging, is about to change.

MacapinlacPhysicians have been merging PET and CT on a daily basis for some time now. “[PET-CT] is actually what we do clinically every day,” says Homer Macapinlac, M.D., (left) chief of the section of positron emission tomography (PET) at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. “We look at CT scans, and we look at PET scans. We do the fusion in our minds.”

This means of accomplishing hybrid imaging, however, carries a certain level of the uncertainty and inaccuracy.

It is now possible, however, to eliminate much of the uncertainty and inaccuracy that accompanies this means of fusing images. How? GE Medical Systems (Waukesha, Wis.) has introduced multiple solutions for synchronized PET-CT scanning. The first commercially available integration of CT into a functional imaging system is the Millennium VG Hawkeye gamma camera system, while the newly announced GE PET-CT system combines the dedicated PET Advance NXi with the CT LightSpeed Plus to build and expand on Hawkeye experience and capability. And later this year, the POSiTRACE system will provide yet another choice for integrated hybrid imaging.

Please refer to the June 2001 issue for the complete story. For information on article reprints, contact Martin St. Denis