Practical setting and potential applications of interventions guided by PET/MRI

Cristopher M. Reich, Bernhard Sattler (Lead / Corresponding author), Thies H. Jochimen, Michael Unger, Leon Melzer, Lisa Landgraf, Henryk Barthel, Osama Sabri, Andreas Melzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Multimodality imaging has emerged from a vision thirty years ago to routine clinical use today. Positron Emission Tomography (PET)/Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is still relatively new in this arena and particularly suitable for clinical research and technical development. PET/MRI-guidance for interventions opens up opportunities for novel treatments but at the same time demands certain technical and organizational requirements to be fulfilled. I this work, we aim to demonstrate a practical setting and potential aapplications of PET/MRI guidance of interventional procedures.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The superior quantitative physiologic information of PET, the various unique imaging characteristics of MRI, and the reduced radiation exposure are the most relevant advantages of this technique. As a non-invasive interventional tool, Focused Ultrasound (FUS) ablation of tumor cells would benefit from PET/MRI for diagnostics, treatment planning and intervention. Yet, technical limitations might impeed preclinical research, given that PET/MRI sites are per se not designed as interventional suites. Nonetheless, several approaches have been offered in the past years to upgrade MRI suites for interventional purposes.

RESULTS: Taking advantage of state of the art and easy to use technology it is possible to create a supporting infrastructure that is suitable for broad preclinical adaption. Several aspects are to be addressed, including remote control of the imaging system, display of the imaging results, communication technology, and implementation of additional devices such as a FUS platform and an MR-compatible robotic system for positioning of the FUS equipment. Feasability could be demostrated with an examplary experimental setup for interventional PET/MRI.

CONCLUSIONS: Most PET/MRI sites could allow for interventions with just a few addons and modifications, such as comunication, in room image display and sytems control. By unlocking this feature, and driving preclinical research in interventional PET/MRI, translation of the protocol and methodology into clinical settings seems feasible.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Early online date10 Dec 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Dec 2020


  • Intervention
  • Molecular imaging
  • FUS

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