The potential of a medium-cost long axial FOV PET system for nuclear medicine departments.
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PURPOSE: Total body positron emission tomography (TB-PET) has recently been introduced in nuclear medicine departments. There is a large interest in these systems, but for many centers, the high acquisition cost makes it very difficult to justify their current operational budget. Here, we propose medium-cost long axial FOV scanners as an alternative. METHODS: Several medium-cost long axial FOV designs are described with their advantages and drawbacks. We describe their potential for higher throughput, more cost-effective scanning, a larger group of indications, and novel research opportunities. The wider spread of TB-PET can also lead to the fast introduction of new tracers (at a low dose), new methodologies, and optimized workflows. CONCLUSIONS: A medium-cost TB-PET would be positioned between the current standard PET-CT and the full TB-PET systems in investment but recapitulate most advantages of full TB-PET. These systems could be more easily justified financially in a standard academic or large private nuclear medicine department and still have ample research options.