In oncology various imaging modalities play a crucial role in diagnosis, staging, restaging, treatment monitoring and follow up of various cancers. Stand-alone morphological imaging like computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provide a high magnitude of anatomical details about the tumor but are relatively dumb about tumor physiology. Stand-alone functional imaging like positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission tomography (SPECT) are rich in functional information but provide little insight into tumor morphology. Introduction of first hybrid modality PET/CT is the one of the most successful stories of current century which has revolutionized patient care in oncology due to its high diagnostic accuracy. Spurred on by this success, more hybrid imaging modalities like SPECT/CT and PET/MR were introduced. It is the time to explore the potential applications of the existing hybrid modalities, developing and implementing standardized imaging protocols and train users in nuclear medicine and radiology. In this review we discuss three existing hybrid modalities with emphasis on their technical aspects and clinical applications in oncology.
- Anatomometabolic aspects
- Hybrid imaging