PET/CT scan goes three-dimensional
Doctors have several
methods for detecting cancer in their patients, including PET and CT scans, PET/CT
scans and three-dimensional CT scans. Although the technology enables physicians
to pick up a metabolic signal from actively growing cancer cells, to generate a
detailed image of internal anatomy, and to locate and reveal the size and shape
of abnormal cancer growths, even the most sophisticated imaging technology may miss
small flat lesions in the lungs and colon.
As reported in the July issue of The Journal
of Nuclear Medicine, researchers at Stanford University in California reconstructed
PET and CT images to create 3-D rendered PET/CT images. The technological advance
creates the effect of flying through the body and around cancerous tumors.
The investigators compared the findings
of the 3-D rendered images with those gained via conventional methods for 24 cancer
patients. The 3-D technology detected all of the lesions revealed in the original
2-D images and one additional suggestive lesion that had not been detected initially.
Information gained with 3-D PET/CT
scans may help physicians to detect and characterize cancer, decrease the necessity
for invasive procedures, and provide guidance for biopsies and surgery
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