Motion-artifact-free in vivo imaging utilizing narcotized avian embryos in ovo

Mol Imaging Biol. 2011 Apr;13(2):208-14. doi: 10.1007/s11307-010-0355-4.


Purpose: The chick embryo in ovo is a well-accessible and economical in vivo model, but its use in molecular imaging has been limited because of motion artifacts on resulting images. The purpose of this study was to develop a method using narcotics to inhibit motility and to perform motion-artifact-free imaging of living chick embryos in ovo.

Procedures: Chick embryos in ovo were narcotized using three different narcotics: isoflurane, 2,2,2-tribromoethanol, and urethane/α-chloralose. Narcotized embryos were imaged using micro-computed tomography (microCT) at days 10-18 of incubation, and the resulting images were analyzed for reduction of motion artifacts.

Results: All three anesthetics could be used for anesthetizing living chick embryos in ovo thus allowing the acquisition of motion-artifact-free images.

Conclusions: Our experiments revealed that isoflurane is the best-suited narcotic for single and repeated applications to image living chick embryos in ovo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia
  • Anesthetics / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Artifacts*
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chickens / anatomy & histology*
  • Chloralose / pharmacology
  • Ethanol / analogs & derivatives
  • Ethanol / pharmacology
  • Isoflurane / pharmacology
  • Motion*
  • Narcotics / pharmacology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Urethane / pharmacology


  • Anesthetics
  • Narcotics
  • tribromoethanol
  • Chloralose
  • Urethane
  • Ethanol
  • Isoflurane