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From The CriticsReviewer: Stephen R. Thomas, PhD (University of Cincinnati College of Medicine)
Description: This book covers the spectrum of topics associated with PET imaging technology and management of a PET facility. A broad overview is provided on introductory physics concepts, instrumentation, data acquisition, image reconstruction, production of positron emitting radioisotopes, and synthesis of PET radiopharmaceuticals. On the management side, chapters deal with logistical aspects of regulations, reimbursement, and design of a PET center.
Purpose: The author's intent is to present the fundamentals of PET imaging with an emphasis on the technology involved rather than clinical applications. Chapters are designed to be concise while at the same time providing sufficient information to convey a fundamental understanding of the principles. One of the stated objectives is to include appropriate data, tables, and appendixes such that the book will serve as a viable reference for nuclear medicine physicians, residents, and technologists. In this regard, the author has succeeded, but medical physicists desiring more depth in various areas would be required to augment their understanding through references cited at the end of the chapters or other sources.
Audience: "With the emergence of clinical PET imaging over the past decade, there has been a growing need for more extensive training resources in this field. The book has been targeted toward residents and technologists who might be preparing for board examinations with specialty sections on PET technology. In addition, it represents a quick reference resource that might prove useful for physicians in PET centers. Although medical physicists working in a PET facility would require more comprehensive documents for their own reference, this book is at a level appropriate for use within resident or technologist teaching programs. The author is a well-known scientist in nuclear medicine who has written several other books in this area. "
Features: The first four chapters on basic physics principles, instrumentation, data acquisition, and image reconstruction provide concise overviews of the topics without going into depth. Chapter 5 on performance characteristics reviews the fundamental imaging parameters of importance and outlines the pertinent aspects of quality control and acceptance testing programs. Chapters 6 and 7 on production of PET radionuclides and synthesis of radiopharmaceuticals will serve as a helpful survey for professionals not active in the field. The brief description of the FDA's involvement with PET radiopharmaceuticals is of historical interest while the review of regulatory aspects covers standard aspects (Chapter 8). The reimbursement issues covered in Chapter 9 will be of marginal interest to most of the target audience. Chapter 10 on design of a PET center with considerations for radiation shielding provides a number of useful caveats. Questions at the end of each chapter will assist readers in evaluating their understanding of the material.
Assessment: In general, the author has succeeded in producing an introductory book on the technology of PET imaging that will serve the needs of residents and technologists preparing for board certification examinations. The material is presented concisely at a reasonable level of comprehensiveness for this audience. Other professionals who desire a quick survey of the emerging PET technology will benefit as well. On a side note, there are a number of areas where the book runs the risk of quickly becoming outdated; namely, in the listing of current PET or PET/CT scanners from various manufacturers, the reimbursement and billing discussion, and the cost of establishing a PET Center.