Society of Nuclear Medicine announces Image of the Year

June 23, 2003

The Society of Nuclear Medicine's 2003 Image of the Year is an example of technological improvements that show a diagnostic quality whole-body scan can be obtained in under ten minutes. The image, which was acquired by 3D-LSO PET/CT in three minutes, clearly reveals evidence of cancer in a 60-year-old patient. Researchers at the Ahmanson Biological Imaging Clinic, UCLA School of Medicine, including Dr. Johannes Czernin and Dr. Benjamin Halpern, produced the images as part of their study examining the impact of acquisition time on image quality. The image is available at

"This image," declared Dr. Henry Wagner, "represents a significant advance in achieving high throughput in PET scanning without sacrificing quality." Wagner, who introduced the image at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 50th Annual Meeting, noted that whole-body scans traditionally take up to one and half hours. Use of technology such as 3D-LSO PET/CT could decrease the duration substantially, benefiting nuclear medicine professionals by improving efficiency, and benefiting patients by decreasing the time involved in preparing for and undergoing the scan.

Johannes Czernin earned his MD from the Medical School of the University of Vienna and has obtained Board certification in Nuclear Medicine in both the United States and Austria. He is currently Director of Nuclear Medicine at UCLA Medical Center, where he is also an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. He has written more than 200 articles, abstracts and book chapters.

Benjamin Halpern, MD graduated from the Medical School of the University of Vienna, and subsequently began his residency in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at the General University Hospital in Vienna. Since the fall of 2002, he has held a post-doctoral position in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology/Division of Nuclear Medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. He completed the ECFMG certification program for foreign medical students, and has published several articles.

Society of Nuclear Medicine

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