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PET Imaging

PET Imaging

PET (positron emission tomography) is a nuclear imaging technique that involves the use of radioisotope tracers which can probe disease specific biochemical processes, thus providing functional and metabolic information in small animal models of human disease, longitudinally and non-invasively.  Positron emitters that emit two high-energy photons upon decay are detected by PET scanner.  PET has a spatial resolution of ~ 1.5 mm and co-registration with X-ray CT provides essential anatomical information and more accurate localization of radiotracer.

Our current radiation licence is for [18F] 2-deoxy-2-fluro-D-glucose (FDG) only. 18F-FDG is a radioactive analogue of glucose which is transported into cells and metabolised to form 18F-FDG-6-phosphate but does not undergo further glycolysis, hence the magnitude of accumulation reflects the glucose utilization rate of the cell.  PET dynamic acquisition together with kinetic modelling allow glucose metabolic rates of heart, brain etc to be measured.  If total injected activity is known a static scan can be taken for a measure of standard uptake value, a common metric used to assess FDG uptake in oncology.  Respiratory and cardiac gating is also possible.

Instrumentation Triumph LabPet

The LabPET™ sub-system provides researchers with the ability to visualize and quantify biological processes in small animals with a reconstructed resolution better than 2.2 μl. It combines functional imaging provided by PET with high-resolution anatomical imaging provided by CT.

  • Animal beds for mouse (25 mm) and rat (50 mm)
  • Trans-axial FOV = 10 cm
  • Axial Field of View = 3.7 cm, (multiple images can be merged for a larger axial FOV)
  • Resolution = 1.2 mm FWHM
  • Integrated anaesthesia
  • Access for catheters and other accessory lines
  • Integrated animal bed heating system
  • PC-SAM Physiological monitoring system for ECG, respiration, and temperature
  • Video monitoring system for live view of animal during imaging
  • Integrated with CT XO

Triumph PET/CT (LabPet 4, X-O CT)

Data Analysis and Image Viewing Software

All software is available on work stations in the Biomedical Facility and a dedicated imaging analysis computer in the Conway Institute area reading area 6.

LabPET version 1.12.1

  • PET Imaging
  • Reconstruction

Triumph Vivid/AMIRA

VIVID is an advanced 3D image visualization and analysis software, based on the Amira 4.1 platform and developed specifically for Triumph PET users. It is a modular and object-oriented subject system, customized with GM-I automation scripts and modules with streamlined user interface to provide One-Step Fusion™ which provides automated fusion and co-display of CT and PET images.

Amira is a powerful, multifaceted software platform for visualizing, manipulating, and analysis of many standard 3-d and 2-d image formats.   It in includes 3-d image segmentation, image fusion, volume rendering, vector field visualisation, and various tools for analysis and measurement.


  • General Viewing and Imaging Processing Tool (PBAS)
    • Imaging Viewing
    • Image  Processing
    • VOI Definition
    • VOI Operations
  • General Kinetic Modeling Tool (PKIN)
    • Time-activity data analysis by model fitting
    • Comprehensive set of models including compartment, non-compartment and reference models
    • Simulation of studies for known kinetics
    • Monte Carlo simulations to investigate estimation stability

Free software:

Amide 0.9.1

AMIDE is a completely free tool for viewing, analyzing, and registering volumetric medical imaging data sets.