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Effect of X-Ray and Cone Beam CT Reconstruction Parameters On Estimation of Bone Volume of Mice Used in Aging Research

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M Russ

M Russ*, M Pang , B Troen , S Rudin , C Ionita , University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York


SU-E-T-143 Sunday 3:00PM - 6:00PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: To investigate the variations in bone volume calculations in mice involved in aging research when changing cone beam micro-CT x-ray and reconstruction parameters.

Methods: Mouse spines were placed on an indexed turn table that rotated 0.5° per projection and imaged by a self-built micro CT machine containing a CCD-based high-resolution x-ray detector. After the full 360° rotation data set of object images was obtained, a standard filtered back-projection cone beam reconstruction was performed. Four different kVp’s between 40-70 kVp in 10kVp increments were selected. For each kVp two mAs settings were used. Each acquisition was reconstructed using two voxel sizes (12 and 25μm) and two step angles, 0.5° and 1°, respectively. A LabView program was written to determine the total bone volume contained in the mouse’s total spine volume (bone plus gaps) as a measure of spine health. First, the user selected the desired 512x512 reconstruction to view the whole spine volume which was then used to select a gray-level threshold that allowed for viewing of the bone structure, then another threshold to include gaps. The program returned bone volume, bone + gap volume, and their ratio, BVF.

Results: The calculated bone volume fractions were compared as a function of tube potential. Cases with 25μm slice thickness showed trials with lower kVp’s had greater image contrast, which resulted in higher calculated bone volume fractions. Cases with 12μm reconstructed slice thickness were significantly noisier, and showed no clear maximum BVF.

Conclusion: Using the projection images and reconstructions acquired from the micro CT, it can be shown that the micro-CT x-ray and reconstruction parameters significantly affect the total bone volume calculations. When comparing mice cohorts treated with different therapies researchers need to be aware of such details and use volumes which were acquired and processed in identical conditions.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Supported by NIH Grant: 2R01EB002873 and an equipment grant from Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation

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