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Comp Med. 2004 Dec;54(6):623-30.

Clinical considerations in rodent bioimaging.

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Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0614, USA.


Imaging modalities such as micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), micro-positron emission tomography (micro-PET), high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), optical imaging, and high-resolution ultrasound are rapidly becoming invaluable research tools. These advanced imaging technologies are now commonly used to investigate rodent biology, metabolism, pharmacokinetics, and disease in vivo. Choosing an appropriate anesthetic regimen as well as monitoring and supporting the animal's physiologic balance is key to obtaining images that truly represent the biologic process or disease state of interest. However, there are many challenges in rodent bioimaging such as limited animal access, small sample volumes, anesthetic complications, strain and gender variability, and the introduction of image artifacts. Because each imaging study presents unique challenges, a thorough understanding of the imaging modality used, the animal's health status, and the research data desired is required. This article addresses these issues along with other common laboratory animal clinical considerations such as biosecurity and radiation safety in in vivo rodent bioimaging.

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