Edinburgh Imaging

What is a PET-MR scan?

A PET-MR scanner is a PET scanner combined with an MR scanner.

What is a PET scan & what is it used for?

A Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner produces detailed, three-dimensional images of how the cells are working inside the body.

PET scans can be used to help diagnose a range of different cancers & can show how far a cancer has spread or how well it is responding to treatment.

They can also be used to help diagnose a number of conditions that affect the normal workings of the brain (neurological conditions), such as dementia.


What is a MR scan & what is it used for?

Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging uses strong magnetic fields & radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body. MR is unique in that it uses a combination of high field strength magnets & radio waves, as well as the magnetic properties of hydrogen in water, to create detailed pictures.


What is a PET-MR scan & what is it used for?

The PET scan & MR scan are done simultaneously in a PET-MR scanner. This means that whilst the MR scan is going on, the PET scanner is collecting information at the same time.

This type of scanner can combine the excellent tissue differentiation of MR with the sensitivity of a PET scanner, to produce combined images demonstrating cell behaviour.

Some examples of its uses are to detect changes in very small blood vessels or brain cell changes in dementia.

The scanner looks just like a normal MR scanner, as the PET scanner ‘detectors’ are arranged around the outside of the MR bore.