Date: 09 Oct 2012

Physical and organizational provision for installation, regulatory requirements and implementation of a simultaneous hybrid PET/MR-imaging system in an integrated research and clinical setting

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The implementation of hybrid imaging systems requires thorough and anticipatory planning at local and regional levels. For installation of combined positron emission and magnetic resonance imaging systems (PET/MRI), a number of physical and constructional provisions concerning shielding of electromagnetic fields (RF- and high-field) as well as handling of radionuclides have to be met, the latter of which includes shielding for the emitted 511 keV gamma rays. Based on our experiences with a SIEMENS Biograph mMR system, a step-by-step approach is required to allow a trouble-free installation. In this article, we present a proposal for a standardized step-by-step plan to accomplish the installation of a combined PET/MRI system. Moreover, guidelines for the smooth operation of combined PET/MRI in an integrated research and clinical setting will be proposed. Overall, the most important preconditions for the successful implementation of PET/MRI in an integrated research and clinical setting is the interdisciplinary target-oriented cooperation between nuclear medicine, radiology, and all referring and collaborating institutions at all levels of interaction (personnel, imaging protocols, reporting, selection of the data transfer and communication methods).

Bernhard Sattler and Thies Jochimsen contributed equally.