Temporal and spectral imaging with micro-CT

Samuel M. Johnston, G. Allan Johnson, Cristian T. Badea

Medical Physics, 39(8): 4943-4968, 2012. PMCID: PMC3416878

Micro-CT is widely used for small animal imaging in preclinical studies of cardiopulmonary disease, but further development is needed to improve spatial resolution, temporal resolution, and material contrast. We present a technique for visualizing the changing distribution of Iodine in the cardiac cycle with dual source micro-CT. This entails a retrospectively-gated dual energy scan with optimized filters and voltages, and a series of computational operations to reconstruct the data. This results in 5-dimensional volumetric images that distinguish different materials at different points in time, and facilitates the segmentation of Iodinated regions and the computation of various measures of cardiac function, such as the stroke volume, the ejection fraction, and the cardiac output. We test the utility of the separate steps of the technique in simulations, and then apply the technique in an in vivo scan of a mouse. We believe this technique will be useful for future studies of cardiopulmonary disease in small animals.

An axial view of a 5-dimensional volume representing the cardiac cycle in a mouse over 8 phases. Iodine is highlighted in red, bone is highlighted in blue.


A coronal view of the same set.


The segmented left ventricle overlaid on a slice of the Iodine volume from the same set.


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All work was performed at the Duke Center for In Vivo Microscopy, an NIH/NIBIB national Biomedical Technology Research Center (P41 EB015897), with additional support from NCI (U24 CA092656 and K08 CA114176). Liposomal contrast agent was provided by Ketan Ghaghada and Ananth Annapragada (Texas Children's Hospital)..