FDA Apparoves Simultaneous MRI, PET Scan

Siemens Biograph mMR system performs dual PET and MRI scans

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first device that can simultaneously perform both a PET scan and an MRI.

The new system, the Siemens Biograph mMR system allows both tests to run at the same time without the inconvenience of moving the patient to conduct another scan.

"The new PET and MRI will be safer for patients."

It allows doctors to more easily compare images because change in the patient's body position is minimalized and ensures that physicians are reviewing more accurate images. Additionally, it will allow for a reduced radiation dose and increased soft tissue contrast.

The radiation dose from the PET scan will remain unchanged, but the MRI does not use ionizing radiation, which means the entire ionizing radiation dose from the CT scan is eliminated.

This reduced amount of radiation is especially significant for sensitive populations, such as children or patients receiving multiple scans.

In a PET scan, physicians inject a radioactive chemical tracer into the patient's bloodstream before taking an image that shows how organs and tissues inside the body are functioning. An MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of organs, soft tissues, bone and internal body structures.

Previously doctors could perform simultaneous PET and CT scans, however an MRI provides much more detailed information than a CT scan because images are mainly based on water concentration in the body. A CT scan uses X-rays to produce images.

Patients with pacemakers, defibrillators or other implanted electronic devices should not be scanned with the Biograph mMR system unless those devices are specifically indicated for use because the strong magnetic fields of the MRI system may interfere with those devices.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 10, 2011
Last Updated:
June 13, 2011