PET / MRI

UCSF’s PET/MRI brings cutting-edge technology to the clinic. This new technology combines time-of-flight PET with 3-Tesla MRI for exceptional image quality, more conclusive diagnosis, and lower radiation in a single exam. The powerful combination of molecular, functional and anatomic information provides essential data for critical treatment decisions. 

Benefits of PET/MRI

  • Convenience of two exams at once
  • Reduced radiation dose
  • Enhanced image quality
  • More comprehensive diagnosis

Clinical Indications

For the initial introduction of PET/MRI into the clinic, we provide the following protocols:

PET/MRI's precision insights, low radiation and convenience are also especially important for pediatric patients and patients in therapies requiring repeat imaging. 

The PET/MRI Scan Procedure

The patient arrives 30 minutes prior to their appointment time, and the radiotracer is injected.  The patient waits for about an hour while the radiotracer localizes to the tissue of interest and the PET/MRI is subsequently performed. The entire visit takes around two and a half hours.  For information on preparing for your exam, click here. 

As with any MRI, safety is our primary concern.  Please visit our page on UCSF MR safety.  Notably, if you have any implantable device, it is likely unsafe for you to be imaged using the PET/MRI.

What is the Cost? Billing and Insurance Questions

After a PET/MRI is scheduled, UCSF’s Central Authorization Unit helps patients and referring practices with pre-service insurance authorization or pre-service coverage determination when the patient is referred by a UCSF provider. Patients referred by non-UCSF providers must obtain insurance authorization through their referring physician’s office. In most cases this procedure is covered by insurance plans, including Medicare. UCSF’s Radiology Billing Department at (415) 514-8888 is happy to answer any questions about billing or provide price estimates for any Radiology services.

Ordering PET/MRI for Your Patients

For UCSF physicians, please read our instructions for ordering through Apex.

For outside referrals, please provide a quick written order for a PET/MRI and schedule the appointment through radiology scheduling. Our billing department will then contact the referring physician's practice to gather the needed information.

We look forward to partnering with you as opportunities continue to expand in this rapidly evolving arena.

Our Radiologists

Have any questions about the PET/MRI?  We want to hear from you. Please contact us:

Associate Professor
Chief of Nuclear Medicine
Assoc. Prof of Clin.Radiology
Assistant Professor
+1 415 353-4889
Assistant Professor of Clin
Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor