Gamma Emission Tomography Enhances PET and CT Imaging


Summary of Invention

The invention relates to an imaging device that can be used for conventional nuclear medicine, PET, and CT imaging. This invention would result in a considerable improvement in the image quality and quantitation accuracy over current PET and SPECT systems. It uses a novel detector configuration that will yield higher energy and position resolutions, and better sensitivity.

Using the novel detector configuration and photon detection technique, it is expected that the Signal-to-Noise (S/N) ratio will be substantially better than with conventional PET technology, allowing scanners that utilize this invention to significantly outperform existing PET devices. This should result in increased detectability and quantitation accuracy, which will reduce the acquisition time and/or patient's injected activity.


With a considerable increase in sensitivity and resolution over existing PET and SPECT systems, the specific benefits of this technology include:

  • The novel detector configuration should increase system sensitivity by more than 100-fold.
  • The novel detector configuration should produce a spatial resolution in the order of 1 mm and an energy resolution less than 10 percent. It should also provide information about the depth of interaction (to within <1mm uncertainty), and acolinearity correction.
  • The novel technique enables the simultaneous imaging of single gamma emitters such as 99mT, 201Tl, etc. and positron-emitting radiotracers like 18FDG.
  • The novel detector configuration can also be used to detect x-rays, thus enabling the simultaneous performance of CT scanning in addition to PET/SPECT imaging. This allows the introduction of the “first true” combined PET/ CT camera, and spares the cost of a separate CT camera on a combined PET/CT scanner.
  • Compared to the current commercial PET/CT scanners, the suggested detector configuration will result in a major reduction in the camera's cost.
  • Monte Carlo simulations are currently being conducted to optimize the different components, and then to evaluate the performance of the suggested technology.

Market Need

There were roughly 1.52 million PET and PET/CT procedures conducted during 2008 in the U.S. alone, an increase of nearly 35 percent from 1.13 million procedures in 2005. This widespread adoption of PET and PET/CT scan technologies is a good indication of the marketplace potential for an innovative imaging device that offers better results more cost efficiently.

Areas of Application

Nuclear medicine, PET, and CT imaging

Stage of Development

Monte Carlo simulations being conducted

Lead Inventor

Sadek Nehmeh, PhD

Contact Information

Yashodhara Dash, MBBS, PhD, MBA, CLP
Senior Licensing Manager
Tel. 646-888-1073; Fax: 646-888-1120
Stage of Development