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Texas Children's Hospital is the first children's hospital in the nation to offer PET/MRI scanner to better diagnose several childhood diseases
Date:4/29/2013

-oncology and seizures. It will also be used to diagnose many other illnesses, including head and neck tumors, many types of cancer, liver tumors, pelvic tumors, musculoskeletal tumors and heart diseases.

Until recently, scientists could not integrate PET and MRI scanners because powerful MRI magnets interfered with the imaging detectors on the PET scanner. PET/MRI may be able to replace the PET/CT scans now used to investigate cancers and other problems in pediatric patients. If so, PET/MRI scans will expose patients to significantly less radiation dose than that required for PET/CT scans.

"Radiation exposure is a source of concern for any patient, but it has to be watched with particular care in pediatric patients who are still growing and developing," Bisset adds. "An opportunity to get information essential for medical care at half the radiation exposure would be particularly welcome both in pediatric patients and in adults who need multiple scans during treatment."

The PET/MRI scanner will be located in the new imaging facility on the 5th floor at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women that opens today. The new Nuclear Radiology and MRI facilities were built to extend services in functional and molecular imaging.  Included in this suite will be the PET/MR scanner, PET/CT scanner and two additional single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) cameras as well as a SPECT/CT, making this one of the most cutting-edge centers in the world. 

"This opening will culminate years of planning to develop and incorporate state-of-the-art imaging equipment that will facilitate improved imaging at lower radiation doses and faster speed," adds Bisset.

The imaging facility will feature the new Ambient® lighting and audio system which is a special tool that creates a gentler, more calming atmosphere for our young patients and often facilitates scanning pediatric patients without the need for sedation or anesthesia. 


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