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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Phys. | doi: 10.3389/fphy.2019.00136

Clinically valuable quality control for PET/MRI systems: Consensus recommendation from the HYBRID consortium.

 Alejandra Valladares1, Sahar Ahangari2,  Thomas Beyer1,  Ronald Boellaard3, Zacharias Chalampalakis4,  Claude Comtat4, Laura Dal Toso5, Adam Hansen2,  Michel Koole6, Jane Mackewn5,  Johan Nuyts6, Francesco Pardomo7,  Ronald Peeters8, Paul Marsden5 and  Ivo Rausch1*
  • 1Medical University of Vienna, Austria
  • 2University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 3VU University Medical Center, Netherlands
  • 4Université Paris-Sud, France
  • 5King's College London & Guy's and St Thomas' PET Centre, United Kingdom
  • 6University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium
  • 7Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom
  • 8Technical University of Munich, Germany

Quality control (QC) of medical imaging devices is essential to ensure their proper function and to gain accurate and quantitative results. Therefore, several international bodies have published QC guidelines and recommendations for a wide range of imaging modalities to ensure adequate performance of the systems. Hybrid imaging systems such as positron emission tomography / computed tomography (PET/CT) or PET/ magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI), in particular, present additional challenges caused by differences between the combined modalities. However, despite the increasing use of this hybrid imaging modality in recent years, there are no dedicated QC recommendations for PET/MRI. Therefore, this work aims at collecting information on QC procedures across a European PET/MRI network, presenting quality assurance procedures implemented by PET/MRI vendors and achieving a consensus on PET/MRI QC procedures across imaging centers.
Users of PET/MRI systems at partner sites involved in the HYBRID consortium were surveyed about local frequencies of QC procedures for PET/MRI. Although all sites indicated that they perform vendor-specific daily QC procedures, significant variations across the centers were observed for other QC tests and testing frequencies. Likewise, variations in available recommendations and guidelines and the QC procedures implemented by vendors were found.
Based on the available information and our clinical expertise within this consortium, we were able to propose a minimum set of PET/MRI QC recommendations including the daily QC, cross-calibration tests and an image quality (IQ) assessment for PET and coil checks and MR image quality tests for MRI. Together with regular checks of the PET–MRI alignment, proper PET/MRI performance can be ensured.

Keywords: Quality control, Recommenations, consensus, hybrid imaging, PET/ MRI

Received: 28 May 2019; Accepted: 05 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Valladares, Ahangari, Beyer, Boellaard, Chalampalakis, Comtat, Dal Toso, Hansen, Koole, Mackewn, Nuyts, Pardomo, Peeters, Marsden and Rausch. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Ivo Rausch, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria,