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Dual-modality imaging of function and physiology.

Hasegawa, B.H., Iwata, K., Wong, K.H., Wu, M.C., Da Silva, A.J., Tang, H.R., Barber, W.C., Hwang, A.H. and Sakdinawat, A.E.

Academic Radiology, 9(11), 1305-1321 (2002).

Dual-modality imaging is a technique in which computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging is combined with positron emission tomography or single-photon emission CT to acquire structural and functional images with an integrated system. The data are acquired in a single procedure; the patient remains on the scanner table while undergoing both x-ray and radionuclide studies to facilitate correlation between the structural and functional images. The resulting data can aid in localization, enabling more specific diagnosis than can be obtained with a conventional imaging study. In addition, the anatomic information can be used to compensate the correlated radionuclide data for physical perturbations such as photon attenuation, scatter radiation, and partial volume errors. Thus, dual-modality imaging provides a priori information that can improve both the visual quality and the quantitative accuracy of the radionuclide images. Dual-modality imaging systems are also being developed for biologic research involving small animals. Small-animal dual-modality systems offer advantages for measurements that currently are performed invasively with autoradiography and tissue sampling. By acquiring data noninvasively, dual-modality imaging permits serial studies in a single animal, enables measurements to be performed with fewer animals, and improves the statistical quality of the data.