Micro-CT with respiratory and cardiac gating

Med Phys. 2004 Dec;31(12):3324-9. doi: 10.1118/1.1812604.


Cardiopulmonary imaging in rodents using micro-computed tomography (CT) is a challenging task due to both cardiac and pulmonary motion and the limited fluence rate available from micro-focus x-ray tubes of most commercial systems. Successful imaging in the mouse requires recognition of both the spatial and temporal scales and their impact on the required fluence rate. Smaller voxels require an increase in the total number of photons (integrated fluence) used in the reconstructed image for constant signal-to-noise ratio. The faster heart rates require shorter exposures to minimize cardiac motion blur imposing even higher demands on the fluence rate. We describe a system with fixed tube/detector and with a rotating specimen. A large focal spot x-ray tube capable of producing high fluence rates with short exposure times was used. The geometry is optimized to match focal spot blur with detector pitch and the resolution limits imposed by the reproducibility of gating. Thus, it is possible to achieve isotropic spatial resolution of 100 microm with a fluence rate at the detector 250 times that of a conventional cone beam micro-CT system with rotating detector and microfocal x-ray tube. Motion is minimized for any single projection with 10 ms exposures that are synchronized to both cardiac and breathing motion. System performance was validated in vivo by studies of the cardiopulmonary structures in C57BL/6 mice, demonstrating the value of motion integration with a bright x-ray source.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Artifacts
  • Electrocardiography / methods
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis*
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Movement*
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / instrumentation*
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Respiratory Mechanics
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / instrumentation*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / veterinary