Positron emission tomography (PET) can probe biochemical pathways in vivo and can provide quantitative data; for that purpose, tracers labeled with positron-emitting radioisotopes are essential. This report describes the tracers that are being used or that may have future use, their production by cyclotrons, and other needed resources for PET imaging. Current routine and automated methods for convenient production of labeled compounds, coupled with simple computer-controlled accelerators, can support the creation of clinical PET centers in any large medical institution, obviating the need for in-depth research teams. An alternate approach involves the development of regional centers that provide in-house service and that supply fluorine 18— and carbon 11—labeled compounds to nearby hospitals with PET machines.
Bohigian GM, Estes EH, Friedlander IR, et al. Cyclotrons and Radiopharmaceuticals in Positron Emission Tomography. JAMA. 1988;259(12):1854–1860. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720120058037
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