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PET/MRI Pioneers

Stony Brook is the birthplace of modern imaging technology, including PET and MRI technology. Stony Brook physician-scientists invented MRI technology – and won the Nobel Prize for it.

Four decades later, Stony Brook became one of the first hospitals in the United States in 2013 to offer the PET/MRI scan for clinical use and for research.

Among its many applications is the diagnosis and study of abdominal and pelvic cancers, neurodegenerative disease, psychological disorders and cardiac issues. PET/MRI scans are used in planning surgical procedures.

PET/MRI is the next step forward in emerging imaging technology, combining Positron Emission Tomography with images made from Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Combining these two pictures of the body together – in a single high-resolution image – gives physicians an unprecedented level of clarity and detail. This information makes it possible to find, explore, stage and treat disease more quickly and accurately than before.

An MRI scan shows the body’s physical anatomy: organs, soft tissues and skeletal structure. A PET scan reveals the how well the body is functioning and doing its job. When a patient has an MRI/PET scan, the two different images are captured simultaneously and combined into a hybrid imaging tool.

Another benefit to patients is the lower dose of radiation required for this type of scan.