Clinical experience with the first combined positron emission tomography/computed tomography scanner in Australia

W F Eddie Lau, David S Binns, Robert E Ware, Shakher Ramdave, Alexander G Pitman and Rodney J Hicks
Med J Aust 2005; 182 (4): 172-176.


  • Metabolic imaging with fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) is increasing rapidly worldwide because of superior accuracy compared with conventional non-invasive techniques used for evaluating cancer.

  • Limited anatomical information from FDG-PET images alone dictates that complementary use with structural imaging is required to optimise benefit.

  • Recently, combined positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scanners have overtaken standalone PET scanners as the most commonly purchased PET devices.

  • We describe our experience of over 5500 scans performed since the first PET/CT scanner in Australia was commissioned at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (PMCC), Melbourne, in January 2002.

  • Clinical indications for PET/CT scans performed at PMCC largely reflect current Medicare reimbursement policy.

  • Advantages of PET/CT include greater patient comfort and higher throughput, greater diagnostic certainty and accuracy, improved biopsy methods, and better treatment planning.

  • We believe PET/CT will underpin more effective and efficient imaging paradigms for many common tumours, and lead to a decrease in imaging costs.

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  • W F Eddie Lau1
  • David S Binns2
  • Robert E Ware3
  • Shakher Ramdave4
  • Alexander G Pitman5
  • Rodney J Hicks6

  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

None identified.

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