World’s First Total-body Scanner Takes Stunning 3D Images Of Whole Body

Posted: Nov 22 2018, 12:14am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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World’s First Total-body Scanner Takes Stunning 3D Images of Whole Body
Credit: UC Davis

The new device produces an image of an entire body in as little as 20-30 seconds.

The first human has been scanned with a revolutionary new total-body medical scanner invented by UC Davis scientists.

Named EXPLORER, world’s first total-body scanner is a combination of positron emission tomography (PET) and x-ray computed tomography (CT) and captures a 3-D picture of entire human body at once, all within few seconds.

The new device will revolutionize medical imaging globally and improve diagnosis and treatment of diseases because it provides far greater detail of different components of human body. For example, the new imaging scanner will for the first time evaluate what is happening in all the organs and tissues of the body simultaneously. It could also measure blood flow or how the body takes up glucose everywhere in the body.

“The level of detail was astonishing, especially once we got the reconstruction method a bit more optimized,” said Ramsey Badawi, chief of Nuclear Medicine at UC Davis Health. “We could see features that you just don’t see on regular PET scans. And the dynamic sequence showing the radiotracer moving around the body in three dimensions over time was, frankly, mind-blowing. There is no other device that can obtain data like this in humans, so this is truly novel.”

Researchers began work on EXPLORER in 2011 with a $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute. The new scanner is able to get more clearer and accurate images that no other imaging tool can achieve. EXPLORER scans a whole body up to 40 times faster than current PET scans as it can produce a diagnostic image in as little as 20-30 seconds. Moreover, it uses a radiation doze up to 40 times less than the standard dose used in PET scans. For patients, this means a safer imaging technology with less radiation risk.

“The tradeoff between image quality, acquisition time and injected radiation dose will vary for different applications, but in all cases, we can scan better, faster or with less radiation dose, or some combination of these.” UC Davis scientist Simon Cherry said.

The first images from scans of humans using the new device will be unveiled at the upcoming Radiological Society of North America meeting in late November. Researchers hope to begin imaging patients with EXPLORER as early as June 2019.

“I don’t think it will be long before we see at a number of EXPLORER systems around the world. But that depends on demonstrating the benefits of the system, both clinically and for research," said Cherry. "While there is still a lot of careful analysis to do, I think we already know that EXPLORER is delivering roughly what we had promised."

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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