PET examinations, i.e. Positron Emission Tomography, are performed in combination with classic Computed Tomography (PET/CT) or in combination with magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MR). As a rule, these examinations are similar in scanning the whole body, but they have several important differences, which are presented below.
Multiparametricity of PET/MR examinations
PET/MR examination is a modern technique. The first such examination was performed in 2011 in Geneva. In Poland, so far only two laboratories perform them – in Bydgoszcz and Białystok (Bioskaner). PET/MR is a diagnostic examination during which magnetic resonance imaging (MR) and positron emission tomography (PET) of the whole body are performed simultaneously – from the top of the head to middle of the thighs. During such examination, we obtain a three-dimensional image with the effect of glowing lesions. Thanks to the fusion (combination, superimposition) of PET and MR images, doctors receive additional information that is useful in assessing lesions. Therefore, PET/MR consists of 2 examinations performed at the same time, in contrast to the classic PET/CT examination.
In the case of PET/CT examination, computed tomography has an auxiliary function. It helps to more accurately determine the position of the patient, thus allowing for the exact location of individual tissues, and thus possible lesions, but does not provide additional diagnostic information.
Studies conducted in Germany, where the largest number of PET/MR scanners are installed, showed a 15% advantage of this examination in the detection of pathological changes in selected cancers thanks to multiparameters. We describe the results of these studies in more detail here: https://bioskaner.eu/aktualnosci/porownanie-badan-pet/.
Whether, in a given case, the PET/MR examination will allow to obtain more accurate information depends on the individual clinical situation. In our laboratory, during the qualification process, our specialist doctor indicates whether in a given case the PET / MR examination will bring measurable diagnostic benefits for the patient, or whether it is enough to perform a classic PET / CT examination. The final decision is always up to the patient.
Exposure to ionizing radiation
PET scans require a relatively low dose of ionizing radiation to be administered intravenously. In the case of a PET/CT scan, the patient receives an additional dose of radiation from the CT scan, which is not present in the case of a PET/MR scan from the magnetic resonance imaging. It has been proven in the above-mentioned scientific study that the exposure to ionizing radiation in PET/MR is 50-70% lower than in the case of PET/CT. Apart from puncture to administer the appropriate radiopharmaceutical, both examinations are completely painless and safe for the patient
Bioskaner is a modern diagnostic center where both PET/MR and PET/CT examinations can be performed. Our specialists will help you to choose the optimal diagnostic way, and therefore indicate whether it is worth performing a PET/MR examination in a given case, or whether standard PET/CT diagnostics, which may also be refund by the NFZ, is sufficient. PET/MR examination is not refund in Europe so far. Nevertheless, in our laboratory it is possible to combine these techniques and perform sequential PET/CT and PET/MR examinations with a single administration of a radiopharmaceutical, so the PET/MR examination does not involve additional exposure to ionizing radiation.
Qualification for examination
The initial qualification is carried out by a registration employee in order to reject cases with obvious contraindications, such as: pregnancy – in the case of both of these examinations, or the presence of foreign objects with magnetic properties in the patient’s body, e.g. implants, prostheses, stimulators – in the case of PET/MR examination.
Then, each time the qualification for PET examination is carried out by a nuclear medicine doctor. The specialist collects a complete history of the disease and on this basis, and based on unique experience, he is able to indicate the most optimal examination from the point of view of the patient’s health and diagnostic effects.
If the patient is qualified for the examination, a date is arranged. From the moment of making a decision on PET/MR or PET/CT examination by the patient and the doctor qualifying to receive the described results, a maximum of 10 days elapses.
The Bioskaner offers the possibility of combining a PET/CT examination with a PET/MR examination.
More about the PET/MR examination: https://bioskaner.eu/badania/pet-mr/
More about the PET/CT examination: https://bioskaner.eu/badania/pet-ct/