PET/MRI system an ISMRM highlight for Siemens

Siemens Medical Solutions of Malvern, PA, has begun demonstrations of a prototype of an imaging system that can perform simultaneous MRI and PET scans.

Testing on the new prototype will start before the end of this year, the company announced in a press release from the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) meeting in Berlin.

The first in vivo human brain simultaneous PET/MRI images were acquired at Siemens facilities in U.S. Siemens said the PET/MRI combination could provide new insights into brain disorders and neurological stem cell therapy through the combination of soft-tissue contrast, as well as MRI's high specificity and PET's sensitivity in assessing physiological and metabolic states.

The first PET/MRI images were acquired through the work of Dr. David Townsend and Dr. Claude Nahmias from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and Dr. Heinz-Peter Schlemmer, Dr. Claus Claussen, and Dr. Bernd Pichler from the University Tübingen in Germany.

In other ISMRM news, the company is touting its development of a new imaging sequence designed to enable perfusion imaging without the use of contrast agents. Called arterial spin labeling (ASL), the company is developing the technique with the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

ASL uses the water in arterial blood as an endogenous contrast agent to evaluate perfusion noninvasively, the company said. The technique evaluates cerebral blood flow (CBF), and can be used in the evaluation of stroke, tumors, degenerative diseases, and epilepsy, as well as in basic neuroscience, such as studies of functional CBF changes.

Siemens said that syngo ASL will enable users to conduct brain perfusion studies without the use of more invasive technologies such as gadolinium MR contrast or PET with oxygen-15-labeled radiotracers. The company plans to offer the technique as syngo ASL.

By staff writers
May 22, 2007

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