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PET-MR - Introduction


Our scanning department has installed the Siemens Biograph mMR which is a state-of-the-art PET scanner integrated with an advanced 3 Tesla MR scanner. This innovative hybrid imaging modality combines the molecular imaging capability of PET with the superb, radiation-free anatomical correlation of MR. Our department will be the first medical imaging centre on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong to offer this revolutionary imaging technology to the general public at an affordable price in line with the mission of St. Teresa's Hospital.


PET-MR excels in evaluation of oncologic diseases in which high soft tissue contrast resolution is essential such as brain tumours, head and neck cancer, prostate cancer, musculoskeletal tumours, multiple myeloma and lymphoma. These patients would normally have to undergo both a PET-CT and a MR examination. For non-oncologic applications, PET-MR is well documented as the study of choice for assessment of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. Another compelling reason for developing PET-MR is to help reducing at least 50% of total radiation exposure by obviating the need for CT, which is most beneficial to paediatric patients and other patients requiring multiple follow-up PET studies.


The practice of clinical PET-MR not only requires sub-specialized expertise in both PET and MR imaging but also trained technologists competent in respective modalities. This challenging task is accomplished through seamless collaboration between our experienced Nuclear Medicine (NM) team which has provided PET services since 2000, and our expert Magnetic Resonance (MR) team which has been pioneering clinical MR in Hong Kong since 1989 under the leadership of Dr. Hector Ma.


In order to bring personalized medicine to our patients, we tailor PET acquisition and MR imaging sequences to the clinical question of individual patient through careful combination of whole-body and regional PET-MR imaging. Our goal is to maximize diagnostic accuracy with the most appropriate multi-parametric PET-MR evaluation while enhancing patient acceptance with optimized image acquisition time by simultaneous hybrid scan.


Our scanning department is uniquely poised to harness the advantages of hybrid PET through synergistic coordination between our nuclear medicine physicians and radiologists which has been well established since adoption of PET-CT in our department over the last decades. We have also managed after over two years of thorough site preparation to co-locate this new PET-MR with our new flagship and second PET-CT scanner (Siemens Biograph mCT 128-slice) to ensure the most appropriate hybrid PET for every patient.


While the F18- fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) is currently mainstay of PET radiotracer, the advent of novel metabolically selective PET radiotracers targeting specific tumor cells has provided increasing insights into molecular signatures of various disease processes. To this end, our hospital has the vision to pursue this innovation of molecular PET imaging by installation of a new in-hospital cyclotron which is operational since January of 2019. This advanced medical cyclotron is capable of producing a variety of non-FDG radiotracers which include the short half-lived C-11 isotopes for enhancing tumour imaging in hepatocellular carcinoma and amyloid imaging in dementia patients as well as F18-FDOPA and C11-Raclopride for Parkinsonism.

Please do not hesitate to give us a call at 27158660 or just drop by our department for any queries or suggestion