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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Emerging Fusion Technologies Poised to Change Diagnostic Imaging

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"By combining high-speed CT scanners with SPECT's highly accurate definition of disease processes, anatomical mapping and localisation can be enhanced,'" says Ms. Vaidyanathan . "Most significantly, CT attenuation correction greatly reduces the problems of distortion and degradation that typically occur with radio-nuclide-based methods."

Combined SPECT/CT has also proved to be highly effective in examining patients with neuroendocrine tumours. Researchers from the University di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy , have undertaken a study in an attempt to identify the future applications of SPECT/CT imaging.

The results of this study revealed that such hybrid imaging can increase the specificity of SPECT alone, thus influencing choice of treatment and avoiding unnecessary therapy owing to the exclusion or the identification of previously unknown malignant lesions.

Researchers are now evaluating the possibility of combining SPECT and CT data for oncology applications. While the combination of FDG-PET and CT datahas emerged as a potent strategy for cancer diagnosis, staging, and follow-up, SPECT/CT also has great potential in oncological imaging.

For instance, SPECT/CT can provide an excellent alternative in cases where institutions cannot afford FDG, which is expensive and has a shortlife. SPECT tracers are often more cost-effective, easier to obtain and in certain tumours, more accurate than FDG.


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