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Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging
Volume 2017, Article ID 5260305, 7 pages
Review Article

Advanced Functional Tumor Imaging and Precision Nuclear Medicine Enabled by Digital PET Technologies

Wright Center of Innovation in Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, 395 W. 12th Avenue, Rm. 430, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Michael V. Knopp; ude.uso@61.pponk

Received 25 February 2017; Accepted 11 April 2017; Published 16 May 2017

Academic Editor: Shasha Li

Copyright © 2017 Chadwick L. Wright et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this article is to provide a brief overview of the background, basic principles, technological evolution, clinical capabilities, and future directions for functional tumor imaging as PET evolves from the conventional photomultiplier tube-based platform into a fully digital detector acquisition platform. The recent introduction of solid-state digital photon counting PET detector is the latest evolution of clinical PET which enables faster time-of-flight timing resolution that leads to more precise localization of the annihilation events and further contributes to reduction in partial volume and thus makes high definition and ultrahigh definition PET imaging feasible with current standard acquisition procedures. The technological advances of digital PET can be further leveraged by optimizing many of the acquisition and reconstruction methodologies to achieve faster image acquisition to improve cancer patient throughput, lower patient dose in accordance with ALARA, and improved quantitative accuracy to enable biomarker capability. Digital PET technology will advance molecular imaging capabilities beyond oncology and enable Precision Nuclear Medicine.