A new method for respiratory gating during microcomputed tomography of lung in mice

J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2008 Jul;47(4):46-56.


This study investigated the use of regulated cyclic breath-holds to improve microcomputed tomography (microCT) imaging of small (diameter, less than 1 mm) mouse lung tumors in vivo. Two novel techniques that use a modified small-animal ventilator were examined and compared with a previously used respiratory gating microCT technique and a free-breathing microCT technique. Two mice were scanned with each of these 4 microCT techniques (voxel size, 92 microm). The appearance of small lung tumors (maximal diameter, 0.5 to 1.0 mm) and the characteristics of line profiles of the lung-diaphragm boundary were used to compare the images obtained from the 4 acquisition techniques. The use of cyclic breath-holds, synchronized with the CT exposures, led to marked improvement in the visualization of the mouse lung structure and lesion conspicuity. A secondary experiment was performed to assess the stress placed on mice by the acquisition techniques.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Temperature
  • Electrocardiography / veterinary
  • Female
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Miniaturization
  • Respiration
  • Respiratory Physiological Phenomena*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / instrumentation
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*