Detailed morphometric knowledge of the microvascular network is needed for studies relating structure to haemodynamic function in organs like the lung. Clinical volumetric CT is limited to millimetre-order spatial resolution. Since evidence suggests that small arterioles (50 to 300 micrometres) dominate pulmonary haemodynamics, we built a micro-CT scanner, capable of imaging excised lungs in 3D with 100/μm resolution, for basic physiology research. The scanner incorporates a micro-focal (3 μm) x-ray source, an xyzθ stage and a CCD-coupled image intensifier detector. We imaged phantoms and contrast-enhanced rat lungs, reconstructing the data with either the Feldkamp or the circle-and-line cone-beam reconstruction algorithm. We present reconstructions using 180 views over 360 degrees for the circular trajectory, augmented with views from a linear scan for the circle-and-line algorithm, Especially for platelike features perpendicular to the rotation axis and remote from the midplane, the circle-and-line algorithm produces superior reconstructions compared with Feldkamp's algorithm. We conclude that the use of nonplanar source trajectories to perform micro-CT on contrast-enhanced, excised lungs can provide data useful for morphometric analysis of vascular trees, currently down to the 130 μm level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging