Institute of Nuclear Medicine


PET/MR current and future research projects

In March 2012, the UK's first PET-MR scanner came online. Since then, there has been extensive sequence optimisation and protocolling review in order to create clinical hybrid PET-MR protocols. In addition to this, there has been an interest in research projects mentioned by several groups within UCLH.

Our clinical hybrid protocol incorporates whole body diffusion. This sequence can still be considered a research sequence, and it is hoped that it can be routinely used in clinical examinations. By simultaneously acquiring whole body diffusion with whole body PET, the sensitivity and specifity of the whole body diffusion can be accurately assessed by comparing it to the PET data.

The first two research projects are already underway. The first is a study being carried out in conjunction with Brighton and Sussex University.  The study title is "Simultaneous PET-MR brain imaging of Alzheimers disease and frontotemporal dementia. This study has a cohort of 24 patients and 10 controls, of whom over 50% have already been scanned.

Semantic Dementia : FDG PET Fused to Coronal MPRAGE MR sequence

The other study title is "Tumour Angiogenesis in NSCLC, Colorectal, Breast, Oesphageal, Thyroid,Urologic, Head and Neck cancers and Lymphoma:Radiology-Pathology and Prognostic Correlation". This is a muti-modality study, utilising PET-CT, CT and MR. The PET-MR department are undertaking multiple MR sequences with the aim to prove that the MR sequences are comparable to PET-CT for establishing prognostic indicators.

There are two further studies due to start in the next month. These are:
"Tissue characterization of the acute myocardial infarction in ST-elevation MI patients undergoing primary PCI using PET-MRI" and "Ga68-Dotate PET-MR imaging for IMRT in skull base meningioma".

The PET-MR team are able to offer neurologic, oncologic and cardiac hybrid imaging. Both MRI and RNI are rapidly developing modalities, and PET-MR offers the opportunity to explore these developments in a new and interesting way.  If you wish to discuss a research idea, both myself and Anna Barnes (PET-MR physicist) can be contacted.