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Phys Med Biol. 2007 Oct 7;52(19):5749-69. Epub 2007 Sep 10.

Optimization of a retrospective technique for respiratory-gated high speed micro-CT of free-breathing rodents.

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Department of Physics, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3, Canada.


The objective of this study was to develop a technique for dynamic respiratory imaging using retrospectively gated high-speed micro-CT imaging of free-breathing mice. Free-breathing C57Bl6 mice were scanned using a dynamic micro-CT scanner, comprising a flat-panel detector mounted on a slip-ring gantry. Projection images were acquired over ten complete gantry rotations in 50 s, while monitoring the respiratory motion in synchrony with projection-image acquisition. Projection images belonging to a selected respiratory phase were retrospectively identified and used for 3D reconstruction. The effect of using fewer gantry rotations--which influences both image quality and the ability to quantify respiratory function--was evaluated. Images reconstructed using unique projections from six or more gantry rotations produced acceptable images for quantitative analysis of lung volume, CT density, functional residual capacity and tidal volume. The functional residual capacity (0.15 +/- 0.03 mL) and tidal volumes (0.08 +/- 0.03 mL) measured in this study agree with previously reported measurements made using prospectively gated micro-CT and at higher resolution (150 microm versus 90 microm voxel spacing). Retrospectively gated micro-CT imaging of free-breathing mice enables quantitative dynamic measurement of morphological and functional parameters in the mouse models of respiratory disease, with scan times as short as 30 s, based on the acquisition of projection images over six gantry rotations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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