The future of hybrid imaging-part 2: PET/CT

Insights Imaging. 2011 Jun;2(3):225-34. doi: 10.1007/s13244-011-0069-4. Epub 2011 Feb 20.


Since the 1990s, hybrid imaging by means of software and hardware image fusion alike allows the intrinsic combination of functional and anatomical image information. This review summarises the state-of-the-art of dual-modality imaging with a focus on clinical applications. We highlight selected areas for potential improvement of combined imaging technologies and new applications. In the second part, we briefly review the background of dual-modality PET/CT imaging, discuss its main applications and attempt to predict technological and methodological improvements of combined PET/CT imaging. After a decade of clinical evaluation, PET/CT will continue to have a significant impact on patient management, mainly in the area of oncological diseases. By adopting more innovative acquisition schemes and data processing PET/CT will become a fast and dose-efficient imaging method and an integral part of state-of-the-art clinical patient management.