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
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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.
Wathen CA, Foje N, Avermaete TV, Miramontes B, Chapaman SE, Sasser TA, Kannan R, Gerstler S, Leevy WM. In vivo X-Ray Computed Tomographic Imaging of Soft Tissue with Native, Intravenous, or Oral Contrast. Sensors. 2013; 13(6):6957-6980.
Wathen, Connor A.; Foje, Nathan; Avermaete, Tony V.; Miramontes, Bernadette; Chapaman, Sarah E.; Sasser, Todd A.; Kannan, Raghuraman; Gerstler, Steven; Leevy, W. M. 2013. "In vivo X-Ray Computed Tomographic Imaging of Soft Tissue with Native, Intravenous, or Oral Contrast." Sensors 13, no. 6: 6957-6980.