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Sensors 2013, 13(6), 6957-6980; doi:10.3390/s130606957

In vivo X-Ray Computed Tomographic Imaging of Soft Tissue with Native, Intravenous, or Oral Contrast

1
Department of Biological Sciences, 100 Galvin Life Sciences Center, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA
2
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 236 Nieuwland Science Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA
3
Penn High School, 55900 Bittersweet Road, Mishawaka, IN 46545, USA
4
Notre Dame Integrated Imaging Facility, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA
5
Bruker-Biospin Corporation, 4 Research Drive, Woodbridge, CT 06525, USA
6
Department of Radiology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65212, USA
7
Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, Mishawaka, IN 46545, USA
8
Harper Cancer Research Institute, A200 Harper Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46530, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 March 2013 / Revised: 16 May 2013 / Accepted: 23 May 2013 / Published: 27 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical & Biological Imaging)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [701 KB, uploaded 21 June 2014]   |  

Abstract

X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) is one of the most commonly utilized anatomical imaging modalities for both research and clinical purposes. CT combines high-resolution, three-dimensional data with relatively fast acquisition to provide a solid platform for non-invasive human or specimen imaging. The primary limitation of CT is its inability to distinguish many soft tissues based on native contrast. While bone has high contrast within a CT image due to its material density from calcium phosphate, soft tissue is less dense and many are homogenous in density. This presents a challenge in distinguishing one type of soft tissue from another. A couple exceptions include the lungs as well as fat, both of which have unique densities owing to the presence of air or bulk hydrocarbons, respectively. In order to facilitate X-ray CT imaging of other structures, a range of contrast agents have been developed to selectively identify and visualize the anatomical properties of individual tissues. Most agents incorporate atoms like iodine, gold, or barium because of their ability to absorb X-rays, and thus impart contrast to a given organ system. Here we review the strategies available to visualize lung, fat, brain, kidney, liver, spleen, vasculature, gastrointestinal tract, and liver tissues of living mice using either innate contrast, or commercial injectable or ingestible agents with selective perfusion. Further, we demonstrate how each of these approaches will facilitate the non-invasive, longitudinal, in vivo imaging of pre-clinical disease models at each anatomical site.
Keywords: X-ray CT; computed tomography; X-ray contrast agents; review; lungs; adipose; gi tract; vasculature; kidney; liver X-ray CT; computed tomography; X-ray contrast agents; review; lungs; adipose; gi tract; vasculature; kidney; liver
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wathen, C.A.; Foje, N.; Avermaete, T.V.; Miramontes, B.; Chapaman, S.E.; Sasser, T.A.; Kannan, R.; Gerstler, S.; Leevy, W.M. In vivo X-Ray Computed Tomographic Imaging of Soft Tissue with Native, Intravenous, or Oral Contrast. Sensors 2013, 13, 6957-6980.

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