Positron emission tomography

Neurosurgical Review
Y L YamamotoW H Feindel

Abstract

One of the most exciting new techniques introduced in the last ten years is positron emission tomography (PET). PET provides quantitative, three-dimensional images for the study of specific biochemical and physiological processes in the human body. This approach is analogous to quantitative in vivo autoradiography but has the added advantage of permitting non-invasive in vivo studies. PET scanning requires a small cyclotron to produce short-lived positron emitting isotopes such as oxygen-15, carbon-11, nitrogen-13 and fluorine-18. Proper radiochemical facilities and advanced computer equipment are also needed. Most important, PET requires a multidisciplinary scientific team of physicists, radiochemists, mathematicians, biochemists and physicians. This review analyses the most recent trends in imaging technology, radiochemistry, methodology, and clinical applications of positron emission tomography.

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