UNLABELLEDAccurate anatomic localization of functional abnormalities seen with PET is known to be problematic. Even though nonspecific tracers such as 18F-FDG visualize certain normal anatomic structures, the spatial resolution is generally inadequate for localization of pathology. Combining PET with a high-resolution anatomic imaging modality such as CT can resolve the localization issue, as long as the images from the two modalities are accurately coregistered. However, software-based registration techniques have difficulty accounting for differences in patient positioning and involuntary movement of internal organs, often necessitating labor-intensive nonlinear mapping that may not converge to a satisfactory result. Acquiring both CT and PET images in the same scanner obviates the need for software registration and routinely provides accurately aligned images of anatomy and function in a single scan.DISCUSSIONA CT scanner positioned in tandem with a PET scanner and with a common patient couch and operating console has recently been explored as a solution to anatomic and functional image registration. Axial translation of the couch between the two modalities enables both CT and PET data to be acquired during a single imaging session. In addition, the CT images can be used to generate noiseless attenuation correction factors for the PET emission data. By minimizing patient movement between the CT and PET scans, and after accounting for the axial separation of the two modalities, accurately registered anatomic and functional images can be obtained. Since the introduction of the first PET/CT prototype a little over 5 years ago, several thousand cancer patients have been scanned on combined PET/CT devices. In the past 3 years, a number of commercial designs have become available featuring multidetector spiral CT scanners and high-performance PET devices. Initial experience has demonstrated an increased level of accuracy and confidence in the interpretation of the combined study compared with separate readings, particularly in the ability to distinguish pathology from normal physiologic uptake and to precisely localize abnormal foci.CONCLUSIONCombined PET/CT scanners represent an important evolution in technology that is helping to bring molecular imaging to the forefront in cancer diagnosis, staging, and therapy monitoring.