Quantitative x-ray imaging of intraplaque hemorrhage in aortas of apoE-/-/LDL-/- double knockout mice

Alexander C. Langheinrich, Agata Michniewicz, Daniel G. Sedding, Barry Lai, Steven M. Jorgensen, Rainer M. Bohle, Erik L. Ritman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To determine if hemorrhage into an arterial wall can be detected in CT images by virtue of the iron content. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Aortas from male apoE/LDL mice (n = 31) were infused in situ with contrast agent, for micro-CT scanning and histology. Roentgen-opacities within the aortic walls were identified by histology and micro-x-ray fluorescence to be iron or calcium. Dual-energy scanning was performed at 2 energy levels using synchrotron-based micro-CT [(2 μm) voxels, 16 and 20 keV] and 64-slice CT (0.4 × 0.4 × 0.6 mm voxels, 80 and 120 kVp). RESULTS: Opacities were identified as hemorrhage-related clusters of multiple punctate deposits, containing both Fe (0.48 × 10 g/voxel) and Ca (3.18 × 10 g/voxel), or as isolated confluent accumulations of exclusively calcium. Subtraction of the dual-energy CT scans discriminated iron from calcium deposits. CONCLUSION: Detection and quantification of iron deposits in hemorrhaged atherosclerotic lesions is feasible by dual-energy CT imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-273
Number of pages11
JournalInvestigative radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Hemorrhage
  • Imaging
  • Iron
  • Micro-CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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