Within the EXPLORER Consortium, the construction of the world's first total-body PET/CT scanner has recently been completed. The 194-cm axial field of view of the EXPLORER PET/CT scanner is sufficient to cover, for the first time, the entire human adult body in a single acquisition in more than 99% of the population and allows total-body pharmacokinetic studies with frame durations as short as 1 s. The large increase in sensitivity arising from total-body coverage as well as increased solid angle for detection at any point within the body allows whole-body 18F-FDG PET studies to be acquired with unprecedented count density, improving the signal-to-noise ratio of the resulting images. Alternatively, the sensitivity gain can be used to acquire diagnostic PET images with very small amounts of activity in the field of view (25 MBq, 0.7 mCi or less), with very short acquisition times (∼1 min or less) or at later time points after the tracer's administration. We report here on the first human imaging studies on the EXPLORER scanner using a range of different protocols that provide initial evidence in support of these claims. These case studies provide the foundation for future carefully controlled trials to quantitatively evaluate the improvements possible through total-body PET imaging.
Keywords: EXPLORER; FDG; PET; PET/CT; instrumentation; total-body PET.
© 2019 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.