PET/CT in diagnostic oncology

C. Messa, V. Bettinardi, M. Picchio, E. Pelosi, C. Landoni, L. Gianolli, M. C. Gilardi, Ferruccio Fazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the last years positron emission tomography (PET) with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG) has become an established technique for the staging and follow-up of a wide variety of neoplasms. As PET imaging is based on the physiological mediated distribution of the administered tracer, rather than on anatomic and structural characteristics of tissue, the addition of CT imaging to PET improves the interpretation of PET images. Recently, integrated PET/CT scanners have been developed that can producec directly functional PET and anatomical CT data 1 session, without moving the patient and with minimal delay between the reconstruction and fusion of the 2 image data sets. In addition, CT images are also being used for attenuation correction in the reconstruction process of the PET emission data. A brief review of the most relevant technical characteristic of 3 PET/CT systems, which represent the state of the art of this technology, are described. Furthermore an overview of PET/CT acquisition protocols and clinical applications of PET/CT in oncology are described. Overall, advantages of PET/CT over PET that may influence the clinical routine, have been identified as a) the shorter image acquisition time with benefit on patients throughput and on patient compliance, b) the better accuracy in anatomically localizing focal areas of abnormal tracer uptake and defining tumor extent and c) the possibility to stage a disease in 1 single step.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-75
Number of pages10
JournalQuarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


  • Emission computed
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Neoplasms
  • Radionuclide imaging
  • Single photon
  • Tomography
  • Tomography emission computed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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