FDA clears Siemens' 2-in-1 medical scanner

June 10, 2011 - 2:44 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration says it has cleared the first medical imaging device to simultaneously perform two powerful scans used to diagnose a wide variety of diseases and ailments.

The agency says Siemens' Biograph mMR system runs both a positron emission tomography scan, known as a PET scan, and a magnetic resonance imaging scan, or MRI scan. The combination is expected to save time and reduce patients' exposure to radiation.

Older devices combine a PET scan and computer tomography, which uses high-powered X-ray scans. Siemens' device replaces that technology with the MRI, which does not contain radiation.

MRI scans use magnetic fields to produce detailed images of organs, bones and other internal structures. PET scans work with a radioactive injection to trace blood flow throughout the body.