First Combined PET/MR System Enters U.S. Market

Molecular MR system offers simultaneous whole-body acquisition of MRI and PET data


June 10, 2011
The Biograph mMR is the first system worldwide to enable simultaneous whole-body acquisition of data from magnetic resonance (MR) and positron emission tomography (PET).

While MR provides exquisite morphological and functional details in soft tissue, PET goes further to investigate the human body at the level of cellular activity and metabolism. The Biograph mMR enables users to generate the location, function and metabolic activity of organs in a single image at the same time.

Prior to the Biograph mMR, the integration of MR and PET technologies was nearly impossible. The conventional PET detectors, which use photomultiplier tubes, could not be used in the strong magnetic field generated by an MR system. Integration was further limited by the lack of space inside the MR device. For this reason, previous MR-PET fusion imaging solutions relied not on simultaneous imaging, but rather sequential imaging (or post-scan registration) of MR and PET data, resulting in a significant time lag.

The Biograph mMR represents the first complete integration of diagnostic-grade MR and PET into a single-gantry whole-body scanner through incorporation of its 3.0T MR technology and unique Avalanche photodiode solid-state PET detector technology, which addresses the functional incompatibility of MR and PET. With the Biograph mMR, patients can be scanned in as few as 30 minutes for a combined whole-body exam, compared to one hour or more for sequential MR and PET exams. Additionally, Biograph mMR has a footprint comparable to a standard, high-field MR scanner and can be sited in a typical MR room, eliminating renovation costs for facilities seeking to replace an existing MRI.

The FDA cleared the system in June 2011.

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