Philips PET-MR gets CE mark


Philips Electronics has recently received the CE mark for the industry’s first commercially available whole body PET/MR imaging system, the Ingenuity TF PET/MR. US FDA’s 510(k) certification is pending and expected later this year.

Unlike Siemens’ integrated hybrid PET/MR – the Biograph molecular MR, which is yet to receive CE and FDA certification – Philips’ PET/MR is a sequential imaging system. Philip’s 3T MR and their Astonish time-of-flight PET are three metres apart and linked by a single table which can rotate enabling a full-body scan of a person by both systems in sequence. (Middle East Health looked at Siemens’ Biograph molecular MR in the Jan-Feb 2011 issue.)

“With sequential imaging there is no compromise on image quality,” Gene Saragnese, executive vice president and CEO Imaging Systems, Philips Healthcare, told Middle East Health during a meeting at Arab Health in Dubai in January.

“There is only 27 seconds between the two scans,” explained Saragnese. “And there are not many areas of the body where the state of physiology changes so rapidly that sequential imaging will not be useful. So it is important to maintain the highfidelity of the images.”

Philips has developed software to coregister the two images. The system can also acquire separate PET and MR images.

Clinicians anticipate using the Ingenuity TF PET/MR to screen patients at high-risk for heart disease to ultimately treat diseased cells prior to the formation of dangerous coronary plaques. The system may also be used to scan patients to detect tumour formation or recurrence.

The PET/MR system also makes it possible to track whether a drug is reaching a tumour or plaque and monitor efficacy on a cellular level. Clinicians expect the new imaging system to help identify disease earlier and make the concept of personalised medicine a reality.

In addition to greater visualisation of disease processes, the system can also produce up to 70% less ionizing radiation than PET/CT. Zahi Fayad, PhD, of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, has been alpha and beta testing the system for two years in collaboration with Philips. He said the combination of PET and 3T MRI is ideal for imaging atherosclerosis.

“PET will show us the amount of inflammation that is present in arterial plaque, the metabolic activity, while MRI, with its high spatial resolution and excellent tissue contrast, will help characterize the plaque into its various components, such as lipids and collagen,” he said.

Speaking to Cardiovascular Business, he said: “We feel the two modalities are extremely synergistic and additive and together they resolve disadvantages inherent to each test when used alone. “With PET/MR, the patient can walk into the outpatient centre, be scanned and go home within an hour,” Fayad said. “It’s a powerful model and, quite frankly, paradigm shifting.”

He said that the system will initially make its cardiovascular mark in the carotid vasculature, and then move on to the coronary arteries. Studies on the system are ongoing at the University of Geneva, Switzerland; Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York; and FZD, Dresden, Germany.

Systems have been installed in Cleveland, Geneva, Barcelona and one is due to be installed in the cardiac centre in Madrid. “We are selling it in a number of locations around the world,” says Fayad. “In the area of oncology we expect it to provide differential diagnosis.

It has potential in neurology, and a variety of areas.” The MR provides the soft-tissue contrast while the PET gives the physiological information. And with new PET tracers that are in the pipeline we can expect even richer information, according to Philips.

This is another reason why Philips decided to keep the two systems separate and provide co-registration – so that they could take advantage of future developments in PET and MR. “To do this, however, you need the best PET and the best MR available.” By hybridising these two modalities you are forced to compromise on the quality of the image, says Saragnese.

The University Hospital of Geneva houses Europe’s first combined whole body PET/MR system. Professor Osman Ratib, chief of Nuclear Medicine, University of Geneva, commented, “Our validation tests show that bringing the two modalities together improves the quality and accuracy of diagnoses. The molecular imaging provided by PET in conjunction with the anatomy and tissue characterisation of MR has enabled us to see the function and metabolism of tissue more precisely than ever before. The clinical cases have already shown the advantages of being able to perfectly superimpose PET over MR images to detect lesions in various organs. Previously, this was not possible because the two studies took place at different times, with different conditions and with different patient positions.

Ratib sees the greatest value of PET/MRI to be in improving the diagnostic confidence of radiologists when interpreting scans. This could enable radiologists to make a definitive diagnosis based on a PET/MRI study without having to order additional scans. 

ate of upload: 25th Apr 2011


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