What is PET/CT?
PET/CT scanners combine technology from two imaging modalities: positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT). This combination makes it possible to fuse anatomic information from the CT scan with molecular imaging information provided by PET imaging. With this technology, not only can abnormal cell function be detected, it can be anatomically mapped with great precision.[i]
The basis of the PET imaging component is the labeling of small, biologically important molecules, such as sugars, with positron-emitting radionuclides. When these positron-emitting tracers undergo radioactive decay, their positions can be detected by the PET scanner. By imaging the temporal distribution of these labeled compounds, “physiologic maps” of the functions or processes relevant to the labeled molecules can be created. Numerous different types of tracers have been developed for imaging with PET, but the vast majority of clinical oncologic PET studies performed at present utilize an analog of glucose, 18F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG). The use of FDG to image glucose metabolic rate takes advantage of the observation that malignant cells have higher rates of aerobic glycolysis than normal tissues (1). Thus, the malignant cell utilizes more glucose to meet its energy needs. For the typical clinical oncology study, FDG is administered intravenously in the quiet, resting state and is allowed to circulate through the body for 60 to 90 minutes before imaging is begun. In the case of most malignant neoplasms, sites of active tumor will show up as foci of hypermetabolism, or “hot spots” on the subsequent PET scan images.[ii]
What is the right technology?
Given the complexity of PET/CT, there are many considerations for selecting a technology. What slice count is necessary for achieving your clinical goals? What type of injector should you get? What dose optimizations features are needed to maximize patient safety? What about FDG supplier: is there a cyclotron close enough to your facility provide you FDG? Are you planning to do cardiac studies?
Shared Imaging provides PET/CT technology from all the OEMs, and can customize software package, accessories (i.e. injectors) and slice count to match your clinical needs. Whether you are looking for the latest in technology, or simply a reliable workhorse system, Shared Imaging can provide you the system you need to best serve your patient population. We offer new, used and refurbished systems in multiple environments, including in-house, modular and mobile, ensuring you get the right technology at the right time in the right place for the right cost.
What does your ideal PET/CT solution look like?
Do you need the latest in technology or simply a reliable system to handle bread & butter procedures? Are you going to place the system in-house or place the system in a medical coach? What are your procurement options; is capital available? How about your staffing needs; self-staff or not?
There are plenty of questions to consider in developing your ideal PET/CT solution. Our goal is to enable you to customize a solution that answers every one of these questions exactly as needed, and then exceed expectations in its delivery.
[i] PET/CT Scans – Cedars-Sinai, Cedars-Sinai, https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Programs-and-Services/Imaging-Center/For-Patients/Exams-by-Procedure/PET/CT-Scans/.
[ii] Griffeth, Landis K. “Use of PET/CT Scanning in Cancer Patients: Technical and Practical Considerations.” Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, vol. 18, no. 4, Oct. 2005, pp. 321–330. National Center for Biotechnology Information, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1255942/.