Some MRI scans can take up to three hours, and the average PET scan can take an additional two hours. For those with chronic conditions, combining these two tests means less radiation and less time spent inside an imaging machine.
White Plains Hospital recently unveiled a new combined PET/MRI scanner — the first of its kind in New York State outside of NYC — further cementing that Westchester residents don’t need to travel for for world-class healthcare. By combining the accuracy of an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine with the metabolic intricacies of a PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scanner, this new piece of technology provides relief to patients through more precise imaging, shorter testing times, and decreased exposure to radiation.
Aside from providing patients more ease in the testing process, this innovative system can provide the doctors with more precise results. PET/MRI technology is used in pediatric oncology and for the detection of many adult cancers, and is also ideal for evaluating a wide range of neurological conditions, such as epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and stroke. A study recently published by the Journal of Nuclear Medicine discovered that this machine “improved lesion detection in selected cancers by more than 15% and reduced ionizing radiation by almost 80% compared to the exposure of a PET/CT scan.”
Currently, there are only 115 PET/MRI machines worldwide; White Plains Hospital is the first and only healthcare system in the Hudson Valley and Connecticut’s Fairfield County to have this technology. According to Dr. Andre Khoury, co-director of radiology at White Plains Hospital, “PET/MRI screening is on its way of becoming the gold standard for detecting a range of diseases in their earliest stages. It’s rare to see this level of technology at a community hospital, but it’s indicative of our commitment to expand access to advanced care, close to home,” adding that physicians across the region have already been referring patients to be scanned by this new machine.
With the powerful technologies of MRI and PET combined, White Plains Hospital takes a major step toward both discovering and healing conditions in children and adults.