Inexpensive cushion solves fusion imaging dilemma

October 5, 2005

If your department's budget doesn't allow an integrated PET/CT system, a simple, inexpensive vacuum cushion can help fuse whole-body PET and CT images acquired separately, according to research published in the June issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

If your department's budget doesn't allow an integrated PET/CT system, a simple, inexpensive vacuum cushion can help fuse whole-body PET and CT images acquired separately, according to research published in the June issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Dr. Yuji Nakamoto and colleagues at the Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation in Kobe, Japan, enrolled 44 patients with known or suspected cancers who first underwent whole-body PET and then a contrast-enhanced CT lying on a polystyrene-filled vacuum cushion. The cushion molded to the patients' contours, reducing positioning shift from one scanner to the other.

The researchers later merged each scanner's data in a digital workstation using the lower margin of the bladder as a point of reference. They found the technique provided fused images of acceptable clinical value. Positioning and registration required about 12 minutes.