Tri-Modality Imaging on Live Small Animals Introduced

"For years researchers have been taking clinical imaging systems and retrofitting them so they could be used to image animals, and this approach has limitations," said SNM member Bradley E. Patt, Ph.D. "Combining anatomical computed tomography (CT) imaging with the functional positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging in one instrument gives researchers a revolutionary set of imaging tools in one seamless system," he said.

"Researchers can choose the modalities that best fit their research goals," added Patt, the president and chief executive officer of Gamma Medica, Northridge, Calif.

Clinical systems have been very expensive and unable to deal effectively with the physiology of small animals, explained Patt. "In the last few years there has been a tremendous demand for systems that are designed specifically to image small animals, and more applications for small animal imaging systems are being discovered every day," he added.

"Innovation and development in pre-clinical research is now occurring at a furious pace. As new discoveries are translated into the clinic, patients will benefit greatly," said Patt. I. George Zubal, vice chair of SNM's Scientific Program Committee, agreed, noting that "PET/CT and hybrid PET/SPECT cameras initiated a new way of thinking about imaging systems."

With the Gamma Medica imaging system, researchers will be able to use PET only, CT only, PET with CT, SPECT with CT or all three, said Patt. Imaging systems like this could speed the development of life-saving drugs by allowing researchers to do work faster and more efficiently, he noted.

MEDICA.de; Source: Society of Nuclear Medicine