2023 ISMRM-SNMMI PET/MR Workshop

The PET/MR Workshop, co-chaired by Professor Alan B. McMillan, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Patrick Veit-Haibach, M.D., from the University Health Network, Toronto, occurred on October 26th to 29th, 2023, at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. This event, a collaborative effort between the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) and the Society for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), highlighted significant advancements in PET/MRI technology. The organizing committee included Hongyu An, Ph.D. (Washington University at Saint Louis), Udunna C. Anazodo, Ph.D. (McGill University), Chuan Huang, Ph.D. (Emory University), Greg Zaharchuk, M.D., Ph.D. (Stanford University), Peter Conti, M.D., Ph.D. (University of Southern California), and Hossein Jadvar, M.D., Ph.D. (University of Southern California).

The ISMRM PET/MR Workshop offered a comprehensive exploration of both the technical advancements and clinical applications of PET/MRI over three days intermixing lectures with presentations of proffered papers and a poster session. The first day delved into technical barriers and technical development in PET/MRI, featuring sessions on PET/MR instrumentation, head & neck cancer applications, and the role of artificial intelligence in PET/MR. This was followed by a focus on translational research, clinical trials, and clinical development, with topics ranging from musculoskeletal applications to clinical trials harmonization with PET/CT. The second day’s sessions covered neuro applications, with discussions on neurodegeneration, neuroncology, neuroscience, neurotransmitter imaging, and epilepsy. This was complemented by presentations on cardiac and vascular applications, including clinical applications in cardiac health, joint PET/MR reconstruction, and advanced vascular imaging techniques with PET/MR. The final day also highlighted non-oncology applications, discussing preclinical PET/MR, pain imaging, infection, and inflammation imaging. The workshop culminated with a session on oncology applications, emphasizing PET/MRI’s role in cancer management, and closed with a discussion on pressing issues in PET/MR, followed by closing remarks from the co-chairs and SNMMI President Helen Nadel, MD, FRCPC.

Specific contribution from MIMRTL and University of Wisconsin Department of Radiology investigators included a presentation by Professor McMillan “Attenuation Correction PET/MR” highlighting the current status of attenuation correction for which the efficacy has been enhanced by the development of artificial intelligence-based methods. Michael Veronesi, M.D., focused on “Neurodegeneration,” providing insights into the applications of PET/MRI in the study and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. His presentation explored how PET/MRI technology can enhance the understanding of these conditions, potentially leading to improved diagnostic accuracy and patient care. Sandip Biswal, M.D., presented on “Pain Imaging with PET/MR,” delving into the innovative ways PET/MRI can be used to visualize and understand pain mechanisms in the human body. His talk highlighted novel advancements in imaging techniques that help in diagnosing and treating pain-related conditions, offering a glimpse into the potential future applications of PET/MRI in pain management. Samuel Hurley, Ph.D., moderated the session “Neuro Applications.”

The workshop highlighted the vital role of PET/MRI in enhancing our understanding of various diseases, from neurodegeneration to cancer, paving the way for more precise and personalized medical care. The workshop not only served as a forum for sharing groundbreaking research and innovations but also set the stage for future developments in the field, impacting both scientific inquiry and clinical practice. More details about the workshop, including recordings of oral presentations, is available on the ISMRM website: https://www.ismrm.org/workshops/2023/PET-MRI/