Quadra Catches Tiny Cancers Quickly


PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – A PET scan is an imaging test that doctors traditionally use to evaluate patients for cancer, but it requires a dose of radiation, and a patient needs to lie still for 30 minutes or more. Some hospitals are now adopting new technology designed to capture sharper images in one quarter of the time, and that’s a big benefit for some patients. Quadra

If you’ve ever needed a body scan after an injury, or potentially for cancer, you know what it feels like to be very still inside a tight tube.

UPMC’s Chief of Nuclear Medicine and Director of Theragnostics, Ashok Muthukrishnan, MD, MS says “A typical PET CT scan would be from eyes to thighs, which takes about 25 to 30 minutes. Because they’re already sick, they have cancer. Some are claustrophobic, so, when they get on the scanner, they’re really nervous.”

(Read Full Interview)

A traditional PET scan creates three dimensional images of the inside of the body, but first, medical technicians need to administer a mildly radioactive drug so cells that are potentially cancerous will show up on the images. Now, a new PET CT scan, called the Quadra is designed to work as four PET scans in one. It significantly decreases the time a patient is in the machine.

“So, for a scan that takes 20, 25 minutes, this takes only about four to five minutes,” Dr. Muthukrishnan explains.

Radiologists say patients need a lower dose of radioactive drug when they are in the Quadra and the images are sharper than produced by traditional scanners.

Dr. Muthukrishnan adds, “They’re going to get staged more appropriately and more accurately.”

In addition to staging cancer, radiologists say the new Quadra scanner can be used for diagnosing infections and cardiovascular and neurologic diseases.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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REPORT:       MB #5191

BACKGROUND: PET scans are a type of imaging test used to diagnose a variety of conditions, including cancer, heart disease, and neurological disorders. Traditional PET scans use a small amount of radioactive material, such as a radiotracer, to produce images of the body’s internal organs and tissues. There are some limitations to traditional PET scans, and they may not be appropriate for all patients.



DIAGNOSING: PET scans can be used to diagnose a wide range of conditions by detecting changes in the body’s tissues and organs. The most common tracers used for PET scans are radio tracers that are a radioactively labeled form of glucose. If a PET scan is recommended to a patient, they will be asked to fast for several hours before the test. They will then be injected with the radiotracer and asked to wait for a period while the radiotracer travels to the area of the body being examined. A typical PET scan takes between 30 and 60 minutes.



NEW TECHNOLOGY: Quadra is a new imaging technology that has been developed to help catch tiny cancers in their early stages, when they are still treatable. Quadra uses a combination of advanced imaging techniques, including ultrasound, CT, and MRI, to create detailed images of the body’s internal organs and tissues. Quadra can detect small, early-stage cancers that may be difficult to see with other imaging technologies. It also reduces the amount of time a patient is normally required to spend at the machine. Patients will also require a lower dose of radioactive drugs and images produced will be sharper than previous PET scans.




Cyndy Patton


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Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Ashok Muthukrishnan, MD, MS Chief of Nuclear Medicine and Director of Theragnostic

Read the entire Q&A