Positron emission tomography (PET) is a unique modality for imaging normal and diseased metabolical functions in vivo in a quantitative manner. To allow for optimum image quality it is necessary to continuously improve the physical, technological and methological prerequisites of simultaneous recording. For this purpose we develop innovative reconstruction programs and procedures to correct for the different influences on the quantitative accuracy of PET. Furthermore, methods to extract and analyse diagnostically relevant parameters are investigated.
PET is the most sensitive tool for metabolic in vivo imaging, however, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) delivers unsurpassed anatomical images in addition to functional information complementary to that obtained from PET. The hybrid 3T MR-PET and 9.4T MR-PET scanners installed in our institute open new frontiers by utilizing both imaging modalities simultaneously. This advance in technology mean that new physical and methodological challenges must be addressed. Important issues concern the assessment of the new PET detector technology, corrections for attenuation, scatter and motion correction as well as PET reconstruction guided by MRI. The hybrid scanners enable the simultaneous depiction of activated brain networks, using fMRI, and an interrogation of the biochemistry using PET. Furthermore, the hybrid MR-PET scanner will also serve as a platform to validate MR-based measurements of biochemical and physiological functions with the help of PET.