Positron emission tomography: An overview

J Med Phys. 2006 Jan;31(1):13-21. doi: 10.4103/0971-6203.25665.


The rate of glucose utilization in tumor cells is significantly enhanced as compared to normal cells and this biochemical characteristic is utilized in PET imaging using FDG as a major workhorse. The PET systems as well as cyclotrons producing positron emitting radiopharmaceuticals have undergone continuous technological refinements. While PET (CT) systems enable fusion images as well as precise attenuation correction, the self-shielded cyclotrons developed provide dedicated systems for in-house production of a large number of PET radiopharmaceuticals. The application of PET images in oncology includes those of pulmonary, colorectal, breast, lymphoma, head & neck, bone, ovarian and GI cancers. The PET has been recognized as promising diagnostic tool to predict biological and physiological changes at the molecular level and hence offer a potential area for future applications including Stem Cell research.

Keywords: Bismuth germinate (BGO); Flurodeoxyglucose (FDG); Lutetium oxyorthosilicate (LSO); Positron emission tomography.