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Micro-CT Based Quantification of Mouse Brain Vasculature: The Effects of Acquisition Technique and Contrast Material

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C Tipton

C Tipton , M Lamba , Z Qi , K LaSance , C Tipton*, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH


SU-F-J-220 (Sunday, July 31, 2016) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: Cognitive impairment from radiation therapy to the brain may be linked to the loss of total blood volume in the brain. To account for brain injury, it is crucial to develop an understanding of blood volume loss as a result of radiation therapy. This study investigates μCT based quantification of mouse brain vasculature, focusing on the effect of acquisition technique and contrast material.

Methods: Four mice were scanned on a μCT scanner (Siemens Inveon). The reconstructed voxel size was 18μm3 and all protocols were Hounsfield Unit (HU) calibrated. The mice were injected with 40mg of gold nanoparticles (MediLumine) or 100μl of Exitron 12000 (Miltenyi Biotec). Two acquisition techniques were also performed. A single kVp technique scanned the mouse once using an x-ray beam of 80kVp and segmentation was completed based on a threshold of HU values. The dual kVp technique scanned the mouse twice using 50kVp and 80kVp, this segmentation was based on the ratio of the HU value of the two kVps. After image reconstruction and segmentation, the brain blood volume was determined as a percentage of the total brain volume.

Results:For the single kVp acquisition at 80kVp, the brain blood volume had an average of 3.5% for gold and 4.0% for Exitron 12000. Also at 80kVp, the contrast-noise ratio was significantly better for images acquired with the gold nanoparticles (2.0) than for those acquired with the Exitron 12000 (1.4). The dual kVp acquisition shows improved separation of skull from vasculature, but increased image noise.

Conclusion:In summary, the effects of acquisition technique and contrast material for quantification of mouse brain vasculature showed that gold nanoparticles produced more consistent segmentation of brain vasculature than Exitron 12000. Also, dual kVp acquisition may improve the accuracy of brain vasculature quantification, although the effect of noise amplification warrants further study.

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