Dog in scanner

Embracing science at the intersection of humans, animals and ecosystems

The Pops and Tango McCosh PET Imaging Suite features a combination positron emission tomography (PET) scanner and computed tomography (CT) scanner. The PET/CT system improves accuracy and speed in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disorders and Lou Gehrig’s disease, and provides new capabilities for human, animal and plant science research.

The Canon/Toshiba Celestion PET/CT system includes a 90cm wide CT bore and 70cm true-field of view for better access and positioning.

Positron emission tomography (PET) is an imaging test that reveals how organs and tissues are functioning. Using nuclear medicine tracers developed at the MU Research Reactor (MURR), scientists can observe metabolic processes in the body in real time. Computed tomography (CT) is an imaging procedure used to create detailed anatomic pictures or scans inside the body. When combined in the PET/CT scanner, these functional and structural scans give Mizzou clinicians and scientists a powerful diagnostic picture, and allow them to track how diseases evolve and progress.

The equipment allows researchers, oncologists, neurologists, internal medicine specialists and surgeons to provide a new level of care to current patients. It also provides a powerful tool in current animal clinical trials, including cancer and neurology trials that ultimately leads to advancements in animals and humans.

Additionally, using the PET/CT scanner and advanced nuclear methods at Mizzou, researchers in the Interdisciplinary Plant Group at the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources could help crop breeders develop new pest-resistant lines of corn and make significant strides toward solving global food shortages.

CT specifications

  • 90 cm CT bore
  • 70 cm true FOV
  • 85 cm EFOV
  • 47 cm couch
  • 0.5 mm x 16 PureVision detector designed to optimize patient care and acquire high-quality CT images. The 16 row 0.5mm elements balance image quality, speed and patient dose, delivering isotropic images in all planes.
  • 32-slice coneXact™ reconstruction
  • Adaptive iterative dose reduction (AIDR 3D) is designed to lower radiation and maximize image quality.
  • Single energy metal artifact reduction (SEMAR™) utilizes a reconstruction technique to reduce artifacts caused by metal and improve visualization of the implant, supporting bone and adjacent soft tissues.
  • NEMA XR-29 compliant

PET specifications

  • 88cm PET bore
  • 70cm
  • 196 mm A-FOV
  • 1,792mm scan range
  • 394 ps typical time of flight (TOF) imaging allows for better visualization of tumors, which is especially useful for larger patients where the IQ deteriorates with non-TOF scanners.
  • Point spread function (PSF) reconstruction that generates sharper images and higher contrast, allowing better visualization and more accurate quantification of small tumors in routine clinical studies.
  • Imalytics Software
  • Imalytics is a workstation that consists of a flexible modular system with standard and advanced tools for data and workflow management, image registration, segmentation, processing, visualization and processing quantitative measurements. The workstation is a component in the PET/CT suite.

Radiation isolation

Used for housing small and companion animal patients following diagnostic and treatment procedures, radiation isolation is a housing unit designed to keep animals who have been administered radioactive materials separate from the rest of the Veterinary Health Center. The unit has separate rooms for cats and dogs, allowing them to move around comfortably until their dose rates are low enough to go home or reenter the hospital. There are also separate areas for short-lived and long-lived isotopes to avoid cross-contamination during their stay.

Isotope availability

In the table below, bold isotopes are ones we have used in PET/CT and the others are isotopes we are capable of using and in the process of calibrating.

Isotopes and their half-life, positron abundance and maximum energy
Isotope Half-life Positron abundance Max Energy keV
F18 110 min 97% 634
Cu64 12.701 hrs 18% 656
Y90 64.1 hrs .0032% 2270
Zr89 78.5 hrs 23% 900
Rb82 75 sec 95% 3180
Co55 17.5 hrs 77% 1500
I124 4.18 days 23% 2100
C11 20.3 min 99.8% 961
Ga68 68 min 89% 1890