BACKGROUND: The relatively high radiation dose from micro-CT is a cause for concern in preclinical research involving animal subjects. Interior region-of-interest (ROI) imaging was proposed for dose reduction, but has not been experimentally applied in micro-CT. OBJECTIVE: Our aim is to implement interior ROI imaging in a carbon nanotube (CNT) x-ray source based micro-CT, and present the ROI image quality and radiation dose reduction for interior cardiac micro-CT imaging of a mouse heart in situ. METHODS: An aperture collimator was mounted at the source-side to induce a small-sized cone beam (10 mm width) at the isocenter. Interior in situ micro-CT scans were conducted on a mouse carcass and several micro-CT phantoms. A GPU-accelerated hybrid iterative reconstruction algorithm was employed for volumetric image reconstruction. Radiation dose was measured for the same system operated at the interior and global micro-CT modes. RESULTS: Visual inspection demonstrated comparable image quality between two scan modes. Quantitative evaluation demonstrated high structural similarity index (up to 0.9614) with improved contrast-noise-ratio (CNR) on interior micro-CT mode. Interior micro-CT mode yielded significant reduction (up to 83.9) for dose length product (DLP). CONCLUSIONS: This work demonstrates the applicability of using CNT x-ray source based interior micro-CT for preclinical imaging with significantly reduced radiation dose.
- carbon-nanotube x-ray micro-CT
- interior tomography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering