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Table 1 Comparison of radionuclide imaging and MRI as molecular imaging systems [28]

From: Current paradigm of the 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO) as a molecular target for PET imaging in neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative diseases

Imaging modality Physiological parameter Sensitivity Spatial resolution (mm) Minimal amount of tracer (or contrast agent) used
PET Biochemical pM 1–5 ng
SPECT Biochemical pM 1–10 ng
MRI Proton density μM 0.1–1a μg to mg
  1. p pico (10−12), µ micro (10−6), n nano (10−9)
  2. a1-3 mm for fMRI and 5–10 mm for MRS