The history of PET has been one of continuous improvement in resolution and sensitivity. Figure 22 shows improvement of resolution and sensitivity of the positron imaging devices developed at the Physics Research Laboratory over the last five decades. The future of PET imaging is bright. New geometries are being studied especially to develop organ specific imaging devices, new detector materials are being developed and techniques for reconstruction are improving. However, perhaps the most important need for further utilization of PET imaging is the development of new radiopharmaceuticals and quantitation procedures necessary to yield useful physiological data.


Figure 22: Improvement in resolution (top) and sensitivity (bottom) of MGH positron imaging systems.