Whole-body imaging of whole-organ, subresolution, basic functional unit (BFU) perfusion characteristics

Yue Dong, Erik L. Ritman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


A BFU is an organ's smallest assembly of diverse cells that functions like the organ, such as the liver's hepatic lobules. There are approximately 10 7 BFUs in a human organ. These 100-200 μm structures are perfused by capillaries fed by a terminal arteriole (15μm diameter). BFU sizes, function and number per organ vary with disease, either by loss of BFUs and/or their decrease in function. The BFU is the upper limit of a spherical assembly of cells, immersed in a suitably nutrient medium, which can survive without its own blood supply. However, each BFU has its own blood supply to support the extra energy and/or solutes needed for providing its physiological function (e.g., contraction or secretion). A BFU function is best evaluated by its micro-perfusion, which can be readily evaluated with whole-body CT. Resolution of individual BFUs within in-situ organs, using clinical imaging devices, would require high radiation doses and/or the intolerably long scan-durations needed for suitable signal-to-noise image-data. However, it is possible to obtain a statistical description of the BFU number, size and function from wholebody CT by way of a model. In this study we demonstrate this capability by using the distribution of myocardial terminal arteriolar perfusion territories by way of a nested, multiple, regions-of-interest analysis of the heart wall imaged during transient opacification of its blood supply.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDevelopments in X-Ray Tomography VI
StatePublished - 2008
EventDevelopments in X-Ray Tomography VI - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 12 2008Aug 14 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherDevelopments in X-Ray Tomography VI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Heterogeneity
  • Micro-CT
  • Microcirculation
  • Multi-resolution
  • Radiation Exposure
  • Resolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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