European Radiology

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 3534–3541 | Cite as

PET/MRI of central nervous system: current status and future perspective

  • Zhen Lu Yang
  • Long Jiang Zhang
Nuclear Medicine


Imaging plays an increasingly important role in the early diagnosis, prognosis prediction and therapy response evaluation of central nervous system (CNS) diseases. The newly emerging hybrid positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI) can perform “one-stop-shop” evaluation, including anatomic, functional, biochemical and metabolic information, even at the molecular level, for personalised diagnoses and treatments of CNS diseases. However, there are still several problems to be resolved, such as appropriate PET detectors, attenuation correction and so on. This review will introduce the basic physical principles of PET/MRI and its potential clinical applications in the CNS. We also provide the future perspectives for this field.

Key Points

PET/MRI can simultaneously provide anatomic, functional, biochemical and metabolic information.

PET/MRI has promising potential in various central nervous system diseases.

Research on the future implementation of PET/MRI is challenging and encouraging.


PET/MRI Neurodegenerative diseases Brain tumour Epilepsy Stroke 



Alzheimer’s disease


Central nervous system


Magnetic resonance imaging


Positron emission tomography


Positron emission tomography/computed tomography


Positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging


Standard uptake values



The scientific guarantor of this publication is Long Jiang Zhang. The authors of this manuscript declare relationships with the following companies: UJS is a consultant for and receives research support from Bayer, Bracco, GE, Medrad and Siemens. The other authors have no conflicts of interest to declare. This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 81322020, 81230032 and 81171313 to L.J.Z.) and the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in the University (NCET-12-0260 to L.J.Z.). No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper. Institutional Review Board approval was not obtained because this is a review paper. Written informed consent was not obtained because this is a review paper.

None of the study subjects or cohorts have been previously reported.

Methodology: performed at one institution.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical ImagingJinling Hospital, Medical School of Nanjing UniversityNanjingChina

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