November 22, 2010 – A new whole-body, integrated magnetic resonance imaging/positron emission tomography (MRI/PET) system is capable of simultaneous data acquisition.

The Biograph mMR system requires 510(k) review by the FDA and is not commercially available. This system comprises an MR scanner and an integrated PET detection system with an architecture that performs as one. In the new 3.0 Tesla hybrid system, Siemens developers have succeeded in simultaneously capturing MR and PET data with a whole-body system. The Biograph mMR system has been installed at the University Hospital “Klinikum rechts der Isar” of the Munich Technical University in Germany.

“Together with our partner Siemens, we are entering a new dimension in diagnostic imaging today,” says Prof. Dr. Markus Schwaiger, director of the Clinic for Nuclear Medicine at the University Hospital. “We’ve initiated clinical use testing of Biograph mMR in an effort to diagnose diseases at a very early stage to see the progression of disease and to use that information to develop a therapy plan precisely focused on the respective patient. Furthermore, we plan to use the system for cancer followup in the long run, by reducing radiation exposure by the use of the system.”

With the simultaneous acquisition of MR and PET data, this system is designed to provide new opportunities for imaging. While MR provides exquisite morphological and functional details in human tissue, PET goes further to investigate the human body at the level of cellular activity and metabolism. The system has the potential to be a valuable tool for identifying neurological, oncological and cardiac conditions of disease and in supporting the planning of appropriate therapies.

Since MRI does not emit ionizing radiation, Biograph mMR may provide an added benefit with lower-dose imaging. The Biograph mMR also opens new opportunities for research, such as the development of new biomarkers or new therapeutic approaches.

Biograph mMR is designed to simultaneously acquire morphology, function and metabolism for the entire body. Initial research suggests that with this system, molecular MR can scan the entire body in as little as 30 minutes for the combined exams, compared to one hour or more for sequential MR and PET examinations.

Siemens envisions a wide range of clinical applications for molecular MR, including the early identification and staging of malignancies, therapy planning (including surgery planning) and therapy control.

The Biograph mMR also incorporates Tim, the “total imaging matrix” technology from Siemens.

For more information: www.medical.siemens.com

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