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PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e49936. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0049936. Epub 2012 Nov 27.

Characterization of X-ray Dose in Murine Animals Using microCT, a New Low-Dose Detector and nanoDot Dosimeters.

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University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville, TN, USA.



Dose continues to be an area of concern in preclinical imaging studies, especially for those imaging disease progression in longitudinal studies. To our knowledge, this work is the first to characterize and assess dose from the Inveon CT imaging platform using nanoDot dosimeters. This work is also the first to characterize a new low-dose configuration available for this platform.


nanoDot dosimeters from Landauer, Inc. were surgically implanted into 15 wild type mice. Two nanoDots were placed in each animal: one just under the skin behind the spine and the other located centrally within the abdomen. A manufacturer-recommended CT protocol was created with 1 projection per degree of rotation acquired over 360 degrees. For best comparison of the low dose and standard configurations, noise characteristics of the reconstructed images were used to match the acquisition protocol parameters. Results for all dose measurements showed the average dose delivered to the abdomen to be 13.8 cGy±0.74 and 0.97 cGy±0.05 for standard and low dose configurations respectively. Skin measurements of dose averaged 15.99 cGy±0.72 and 1.18 cGy±0.06. For both groups, the standard deviation to mean was less than 5.6%. The maximum dose received for the abdomen was 15.12 cGy and 0.97 cGy while the maximum dose for the skin was 17.3 cGy and 1.32 cGy. Control dosimeters were used for each group to validate that no unwanted additional radiation was present to bias the results.


This study shows that the Inveon CT platform is suitable for imaging mice both for single and longitudinal studies. Use of low-dose detector hardware results in significant reductions in dose to subjects with a >12x (90%) reduction in delivered dose. Installation of this hardware on another in vivo microCT platform resulted in dose reductions of over 9x (89%).

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