Japanese researchers have been doing early clinical trials on new PET scanner technology from Hitachi, a system based on novel semiconductor detectors that are proving to be more sensitive at picking up gamma rays emitted indirectly by a positron-emitting radiotracers injected into the body.
From the Society of Nuclear Imaging statement:
Semiconductor-based detectors could improve PET imaging capabilities because the smaller, thinner semiconductors are easier to adjust and arrange than conventional scanners. The new technology allows for even higher spatial resolution and less "noise," or irrelevant images. The prototype semiconductor brain scanner also employs a depth of interaction (DOI) detection system, which reduces errors at the periphery of the field of view.
Researchers evaluated the physical performance of the prototype scanner and studied the technology’s clinical significance in patients suffering from partial epilepsy and nasopharyngeal cancer—a relatively rare form of cancer that develops at the top of the throat, behind the nose. The results indicate that the PET scanner is feasible for clinical use and has good potential for providing the higher spatial resolution and quantitative imaging required in nuclear medicine. This device, which has been installed in Hokkaido University Hospital, is a result of successful collaboration with staff from the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan.
Press release from the Society of Nuclear Imaging: First Semiconductor-Based PET Scanner Demonstrates Strong Potential to Aid in Early Diagnosis of Disease …