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Researchers capture motion of arteries, lungs November 18, 2008

Posted by tomography in CT, Radiology.
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Computer tomography has a very high cost/benefit value, and thus is very popular in medicine in general. Capturing high resolution images of the body in no longer an obstacle with today’s modern scanners. However, even the latest and most expensive scanners may have a hard time capturing the motion of arteries and small airways without considerable distortion. Researchers at the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute in Wako, Japan, have developed a system that allows for the capturing of such high quality images in rodents.

They used synchrotron radiation at the SPring-8 Center in Harima, which is much more powerful and predictable than standard laboratory sources, and so achieves high contrast resolution and minimizes blur (Fig. 1). The shutters for x-ray source and detection were synchronized. The sample rodents were anaesthetized, put onto a ventilator, and connected to an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine. The researchers were then able to acquire data at controlled airway pressures and time observations for the periods between heart contractions. For heart and arteries, image acquisition could be timed for the end of breath expiration.

Images acquired with this technique allow for the calculation of gas exchange in small airways, and of shear stress in blood vessels.

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Further reading:

– Andras

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