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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.243 SNIP: 0.376 CiteScore™: 0.79

ISSN Print: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.v37.i6.30
pages 495-515

Advances in Multimodality Imaging Through a Hybrid PET/MRI System

Ali Fatemi-Ardekani
Department of Medical Physics and Applied Radiation Sciences, McMaster University; Imaging Research Centre, Brain-Body Institute, St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Navid Samavati
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McMaster University, Canada
Jin Tang
School of Biomedical Engineering and Medicine, McMaster University, Canada
Markad V. Kamath
Department of Medicine, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 3Z5 Canada


The development of integrated imaging systems for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) is currently being explored in a number of laboratories and industrial settings. PET/MRI scanners for both preclinical and human research applications are being developed. PET/MRI overcomes many limitations of PET/computed tomography (CT), such as limited tissue contrast and high radiation doses delivered to the patient or the animal being studied. In addition, recent PET/MRI designs allow for simultaneous rather than sequential acquisition of PET and MRI data, which could not have been achieved through a combination of PET and CT scanners. In a combined PET/CT scanner, while both scanners share a common patient bed, they are hard-wired back-to-back and therefore do not allow simultaneous data acquisition. While PET/MRI offers the possibility of novel imaging strategies, it also creates considerable challenges for acquiring artifact-free images from both modalities. In this review, we discuss motivations, challenges, and potential research applications of developing PET/MRI technology. A brief overview of both MRI and PET is presented and preclinical and clinical applications of PET/MRI are identified. Finally, issues and concerns about image quality, clinical practice, and economic feasibility are discussed.