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New Dynamic Duo: PET, MRI, Joined for the First Time

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Science  07 Jun 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5267, pp. 1423
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5267.1423


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) excels at providing high-resolution anatomical maps, while positron emission tomography (PET) can better gauge the actual function of tissues. But never have the twain met in one machine: The powerful magnetic fields generated by MRI wreak havoc with the electronic detectors of PET scanners. That's made it hard on researchers studying the effects of drugs on particular tissues, for example. Now, however, things finally seem to be coming together. A team of researchers have created a small PET prototype that's able to distance its vital electronics from MRI's high magnetic fields, thanks to fiber optic lines and highly sensitive detectors based on a crystalline material never before used in PET. This week, at the Society of Nuclear Medicine meeting in Denver, the team demonstrated their results: the first-ever simultaneous PET and MRI images.

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