Facilitates the use of MRI/PET hybrid systems for several biomedical applications including detecting and studying mechanisms of various human diseases.
- Comprehensive, automatic image-processing software suite for dual MRI/PET technology.
- Stand-alone package that can be installed as post-processing software compatible with any MRI/PET hardware system.
- Integrates automatic image registration, segmentation and classification algorithms into an MRI-guided attenuation correction approach resulting in a multimodal diagnostic imaging software.
- The software enables quantitative high quality image analysis generated using the MRI/PET hardware.
Combination of these two imaging modalities significantly expands their utility and improves sensitivity and specificity for disease diagnosis. MRI is widely used to reveal anatomical changes due to disease while PET provides insight into the metabolic and functional alterations related to pathologic processes. One drawback of the present design of hybrid MRI/PET technology is that it does not offer attenuation correction using a transmission scan due to space limitation, resulting in poor image quality. To overcome this issue, researchers at Emory have devised an automatic MRI-based segmentation method to account for attenuation correction and generate high-quality images. These features have been integrated in an all-encompassing software suite for quantitative image analysis that can be used with dual MRI/PET technology. This image management software suite has built-in integrated functionalities that combine image registration, classification, and attenuation correction in a single, automatic scheme. The novel MRI segmentation system developed by the inventors facilitates the use of MRI/PET hybrid technology to simultaneously obtain a wealth of highly complementary, metabolic, functional, physiologic and anatomic information from the biological microenvironment. The combination of highly sensitive PET imaging and high-resolution MR imaging can improve diagnosis and treatment of human disease ranging from cancer to neurological disease.
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- Preliminary results from a phantom database and real patient images show that PET image quality was improved using the attenuation correction method on which the software is based.
- Extensive validation and testing of the integrated software has been performed with Emory's MRI/PET system.
- Quality control for data processing and quantification using the software tools has been performed.