Sanford Health installs region’s only digital PET/CT system

Christen Rennich
Sanford Health Media Relations
(701) 200-6080 /

FARGO, N.D., Feb. 25, 2021 – Today, Sanford Health announced the installation of a new digital PET/CT imaging system at Sanford Broadway Medical Center in Fargo that will enable faster scans with less radiation and improved diagnostic accuracy. Sanford Fargo’s GE Discovery MI is the only digital PET/CT within a 250-mile radius and the only one in the Dakotas.

“Despite the pandemic, Sanford Health continues to make advancements in patient care – now offering cutting edge PET/CT imaging for patients close to home,” said Dr. Donald Stallman, radiology chief of service at Sanford Fargo, specializing in nuclear radiology. “Our new Discovery MI PET/CT system takes imaging to a higher level.”

Conventional PET/CT uses a radiotracer labeled glucose analog (FDG) to assess and diagnose cancer, infection, inflammation, cardiac viability and neurodegenerative processes like dementia. This advanced imaging scan visualizes the body’s biological activity, showing changes at the molecular level and allowing physicians to diagnose disease in its earliest stages. It can also help monitor a patient’s response to therapy.

With the Discovery MI’s digital detectors, Sanford radiologists will now be able to detect lesions as small as 4 mm, compared to 8-9 mm with standard scanners. The new technology also provides an enhanced experience for patients by reducing imaging time by 50%, requiring less repositioning and decreasing radiation exposure. These improvements are particularly impactful for patients who are short of breath, in pain or require frequent imaging. Scanner weight limit is also increased to 500 pounds, compared to 400 pounds with many older scanners.

GE Healthcare’s Discovery MI scanner’s internal advancements greatly improve the ability to differentiate between inflammation and cancer. In addition, the system uses new and unique MotionFree technology that monitors a patient’s breathing and adjusts for image distortion to better detect small lesions in the lower lungs or liver dome. Specialists use these clearer images for targeted therapies such as radiation.

“PET imaging affords us the opportunity to assess disease far beyond that of anatomic imaging with x-ray, CT or MRI,” said Dr. Erica Martin-Macintosh, Sanford’s nuclear radiology executive chair who specializes in oncologic imaging. “Our new digital PET/CT system will improve patient care. It also opens the door to the advancing world of disease-specific radiotracers.”

In addition to conventional FDG PET/CT used for oncology, dementia, infection and inflammation imaging, Sanford Fargo will use the new state-of-the-art scanner to provide imaging with Axumin. Axumin (F-18 fluciclovine) is an FDA-approved radiotracer used to identify biochemically recurrent prostate cancer. In the next month, Sanford Fargo will also begin using DetectnetTM (Cu-64 dotatate), a recently FDA-approved radiotracer for evaluating neuroendocrine malignancies with the new scanner.

“We are proud to see our technology used to improve the lives of patients and clinicians at Sanford Health in Fargo,” said Jamie McCoy, general manager of Global PET, GE Healthcare. “We remain dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what is possible with molecular imaging so clinicians have the tools they need to make more confident and accurate diagnoses for their patients.”

Sanford’s investment in the latest PET/CT technology and disease-specific radiotracers compliments the expertise of Sanford Fargo’s subspecialty-trained radiologists and specialists at Sanford Roger Maris Cancer Center. Sanford’s team is excited to provide its cutting-edge PET/CT imaging not only for current Sanford patients and providers, but for patients outside the system who would otherwise seek this level of diagnostic care far from home.

Sanford experts are providing virtual tours and discussing the latest in PET/CT imaging with oncologists, pulmonologists, urologists and others across the Upper Midwest.

Learn more about Sanford Fargo’s new digital PET/CT imaging system at

To learn more about Sanford Health’s Nuclear Radiology services, visit and use the keywords imaging and nuclear medicine.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States, is dedicated to the integrated delivery of health care, genomic medicine, senior care and services, global clinics, research and affordable insurance. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization includes 46 hospitals, 1,400 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and 10 countries. Learn more about Sanford Health’s transformative work to improve the human condition at or Sanford Health News.

For more information on GE Healthcare’s PET portfolio, visit