Hybrid Imaging in Oncology


In oncology various imaging modalities play a crucial role in diagnosis, staging, restaging, treatment monitoringand follow up of various cancers. Stand-alone morphological imaging like computerized tomography (CT) andmagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provide a high magnitude of anatomical details about the tumor but arerelatively 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 littleinsight into tumor morphology. Introduction of first hybrid modality PET/CT is the one of the most successfulstories 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. Itis the time to explore the potential applications of the existing hybrid modalities, developing and implementingstandardized imaging protocols and train users in nuclear medicine and radiology. In this review we discussthree existing hybrid modalities with emphasis on their technical aspects and clinical applications in oncology.