Hybrid imaging – of structure and function

Hybrid imaging is the fusion of medical images, most commonly from CT (computed tomography), PET (positron emission tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), in order to enhance visualisation. It addresses both anatomical detail and functional processes, thereby providing superior accuracy for diagnosis and the monitoring of interventional procedures. In several cases, it is also accompanied by lower radiation exposure for patients.

Hybrid imaging is now being used to combine structural and molecular imaging – revealing molecular processes in vivo while depicting their anatomic location. Some proponents believe the technique marks the dawn of the era of personal medicine.

Medical Invention of the Year
The age of hybrid imaging could be considered to have begun in the year 2000, after PET/CT was heralded as the