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Canada receives first whole-body PET-MRI

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | February 20, 2012
Siemens' Biograph mMR (Credit: Siemens)
The first Canadian hospital to receive a PET-CT scanner almost 10 years ago has just installed what it says is the first whole-body PET-MRI system in the country.

The 11-ton Siemens Healthcare-made system, the Biograph mMR, arrived by plane on Feb. 7, St. Josephs Hospital in London, Ontario said in a release. London Free Press, a Canadian newspaper, said the device cost $9 million.

Doctors with Lawson Health Research Institute, a research center affiliated with the hospital, said they hoped to use the technology to work on advances in brain and heart imaging, such as studying brain damage from stroke or Alzheimer's, and understanding the development of heart disease.

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"The combination of PET and MRI as a single imaging unit will provide us with a unique tool that will help us understand and ultimately prevent heart attacks and heart failure before they occur," Dr. Gerry Wisenberg, director of molecular cardiac imaging at Lawson, said in a statement.

St. Josephs has a few other equipment firsts. On its website, the hospital said it was the first in Canada to receive a PET-CT scanner in 2002. And in the early 1980s, it was the first Canadian hospital to run bone mineral density scans to test for osteoporosis.

Siemens' Biograph mMR was cleared for sale in the United States last June.

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