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Supplemental Material for:

Comparison of 4D-microSPECT and microCT for murine cardiac function

Nicholas T. Befera MD, Cristian T. Badea, PhD, and G. Allan Johnson PhD

Molecular Imaging and Biology 16(2): 235-245, 2014. PMCID: PMC4061569

This preclinical in vivo study in C57BL/6 mice compared 4-dimensional microSPECT with microCT to quantitatively assess cardiac function. The favorable comparison showed that despite lower resolution, microSPECT should be considered as an alternate imaging modality to microCT to evaluate function of the mouse heart, while also providing information about myocardial perfusion.

We provide here data associated with the study, as well as some movies and additional information about the Duke Center for In Vivo Microscopy's microCT and microSPECT imaging systems.

Components of the dual tube/detector microCT system in a rotating specimen geometry: Components of the U-SPECTII/CT system (MILabs, Utrecht, The Netherlands):
  • X-ray tubes and detectors are arranged orthogonally
  • 2 Varian G297 x-ray tubes (fs=0.3/0.8 mm)
  • 2 Epsilon High Frequency X-ray generators (EMD Technologies, Quebec, Canada)
  • 2 XDI-VHR CCD x-ray detectors (Photonic Science, East Sussex, UK) with a Gd2O2S phosphor and 22-micron pixel size
  • 75 pinholes, 3D focusing technology (ultra-high resolution: <0.35mm in entire mouse, <0.9 mm in entire rat; quantification of molecules in tiny parts of organs; low dose and high-resolution total body imaging)
  • List-mode data acquisition (high number of energy channels (simultaneous multi-isotope imaging; retrospective gating and energy window selection; flexible dose and scan time planning)
  • Stationary detectors for ultra-fast dynamic scanning
The system is also used as a biplane digital subtraction angiography system for small animal coronary angiography.

For more information, see CT Badea et al. 4D micro-CT for cardiac and perfusion applications with view under sampling, Phys Med Biol 56(11):3351-69, 2011 PMCID: PMC3180888

Figure 1: Comparison of 4D microSPECT (left) and microCT (right) of the mouse heart in vivo. Images were acquired as 3D isotropic datasets and reconstructed with retrospective ECG-gating. Spatial resolution was 350 μm for microSPECT and 88 μm for microCT.

Figure 2: Sagittal long axis view, axial short axis view, and 3D-rendering of the left ventricle in a mouse at end-diastole and end-systole from (a) microSPECT and (b) microCT datasets using Vitrea LV functional analysis software. Note the greater detail in the microCT-based 3D rendering, reflective of higher spatial resolution compared to microSPECT.

Figure 3: Dynamic (a) microCT 2D and (b) 3D-rendered images showing a single long-axis slice of the murine left ventricle over 10 phases of the cardiac cycle (10 time bins). Each phase represents a distinct 3D isotropic dataset, which are each compiled via retrospective cardiac gating and then used in the 4D volumetric segmentation process in Vitrea.

Figure 4: Sagittal long axis view, axial short axis view, and 3D-rendering of the left ventricle in a mouse from (a) microSPECT and (b) microCT datasets, demonstrating volumetric segmentation of the left ventricle using Vitrea left ventricle (LV) functional analysis software. Note the greater detail in the microCT-based 3D rendering, reflective of higher spatial resolution.


Figure 5: MicroSPECT (top) and microCT (bottom) images of the same mouse heart, acquired approximately 14 days after left-anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery ligation procedure, with resultant myocardial infarction. The infarcted area is visible as a large apicolateral perfusion defect in the microSPECT images, which is not evident in the microCT images. The microCT images do, however, show some apparent dilation of the apical portion of the left ventricle.

Data associated with this publication are available from CIVMSpace, our Web-based data portal.

Data downloaded from this site is for academic use only. If you use this data in a publication, please send us a request for copyright permission and appropriate acknowledgements. Licenses can be granted for commercial use.
Contact the Center for permission.

CIVMSpace is designed to work on most platforms.
VoxStation requires a working Java installation.

These 3 datasets are available in CIVMSpace with the following links:

Link to 4D cardiac microCT dataset:

Link to 4D cardiac microSPECT dataset:

Link to 4D cardiac microSPECT heart dataset:


All work was performed by the Duke Center for In Vivo Microscopy, an NIH/NIBIB Biomedical Technology Resource Center (P41 EB015897). Special thanks to Yi Qi for help with animal setup, to Lucy Upchurch for web design, and to Sidney Simon and Sally Zimney for editorial assistance.



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