Invented by Dr. Ron Nutt and Dr. David Townsend, the PET/CT scanner was named the Invention of the Year in 2000 by Time Magazine. In 2001, PET/CT was named Product of the Year by Frost and Sullivan.
The first generation of PET/CT scanners included a single slice spiral CT integrated with a PET camera which utilized BGO detectors. Today, the configurations have changed dramatically. You can now select between a dual slice CT scanner integrated with a high-end, high-throughput PET camera incorporating the new and much faster LSO crystals; or you may select a clinically advanced 16 row CT scanner integrated with the same high-end LSO PET system.
Some of the early systems required two consoles to operate the system, one for the CT and one for the PET, and some of them incorporated a patient bore size that started at 70 cm for the CT and tapered to about 59 cm for the PET system. These types of systems were not patient friendly, and also would not allow for easy adaptation for radiation therapy planning due to the inconsistent patient bore size.
Today, nearly all vendors have overcome these shortcomings and now offer a variety of multi-slice CT configurations. All systems are typically operated from one control console and have a consistent 70 cm bore which can accommodate RT pallets and provide better patient comfort. The industry has made great strides in a short time to better serve the PET/CT market.