Quality control (QC) of medical imaging devices is essential to ensure their proper function and to gain accurate and quantitative results. Therefore, several international bodies have published QC guidelines and recommendations for a wide range of imaging modalities to ensure adequate performance of the systems. Hybrid imaging systems such as positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) or PET/magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI), in particular, present additional challenges caused by differences between the combined modalities. However, despite the increasing use of this hybrid imaging modality in recent years, there are no dedicated QC recommendations for PET/MRI. Therefore, this work aims at collecting information on QC procedures across a European PET/MRI network, presenting quality assurance procedures implemented by PET/MRI vendors and achieving a consensus on PET/MRI QC procedures across imaging centers. Users of PET/MRI systems at partner sites involved in the HYBRID consortium were surveyed about local frequencies of QC procedures for PET/MRI. Although all sites indicated that they perform vendor-specific daily QC procedures, significant variations across the centers were observed for other QC tests and testing frequencies. Likewise, variations in available recommendations and guidelines and the QC procedures implemented by vendors were found. Based on the available information and our clinical expertise within this consortium, we were able to propose a minimum set of PET/MRI QC recommendations including the daily QC, cross-calibration tests, and an image quality (IQ) assessment for PET and coil checks and MR image quality tests for MRI. Together with regular checks of the PET–MRI alignment, proper PET/MRI performance can be ensured.
- Hybrid imaging
- Quality control