Hybrid imaging refers to the fusion of two (or more) imaging modalities to form a new technique. By combining the innate advantages of the fused imaging technologies synergistically, usually a new and more powerful modality comes into being.
Some hybrid imaging modalities are synergistic solely in anatomical details, while others combine structural and molecular imaging. This potential to reveal molecular processes in vivo while simultaneously depicting their anatomic location has been a groundbreaker ever since PET/CT was voted "Medical Invention of the Year" in 2000.
Existing hybrid imaging modalities comprise
- ultrasound and MR
- ultrasound and CT
- MR and CT
The general benefits of hybrid imaging include
- increased diagnostic accuracy
- a further step towards individualized medicine
- precise monitoring of interventional procedures
- reduced radiation exposure, e.g. dynamic US after obtaining CT map.
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