Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging could get a major upgrade with completion of the first research prototype total-body PET (TB-PET) scanner anticipated for fall of 2018.
The prototype, described in Science Translational Medicine in March, is a 6-foot-long open tube with 560 000 sensors. The sensors detect photons emitted as radioactive tracers injected into a patient decay.
The new scanner collects 40 times more signal than current PET machines, an advantage that could be used for quicker, higher-resolution, or lower-radiation-dose imaging, or a combination of all 3. It will image the full body in 30 to 45 seconds, while current machines take 20 to 30 minutes to produce a series of scans that cover the entire body.
Abbasi J. Total-Body PET Scanner Prototype Due Next Year. JAMA. 2017;318(2):116. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.8300