Objective: Micro-computed tomography is used frequently in preclinical in vivo research. Limiting factors are radiation dose and long scan times. The purpose of the study was to compare a standard step-and-shoot to a continuous-rotation, high-speed scanning protocol.
Methods: Micro-computed tomography of a lead grid phantom and a rat femur was performed using a step-and-shoot and a continuous-rotation protocol. Detail discriminability and image quality were assessed by 3 radiologists. The signal-to-noise ratio and the modulation transfer function were calculated, and volumetric analyses of the femur were performed. The radiation dose of the scan protocols was measured using thermoluminescence dosimeters.
Results: The 40-second continuous-rotation protocol allowed a detail discriminability comparable to the step-and-shoot protocol at significantly lower radiation doses. No marked differences in volumetric or qualitative analyses were observed.
Conclusions: Continuous-rotation micro-computed tomography significantly reduces scanning time and radiation dose without relevantly reducing image quality compared with a normal step-and-shoot protocol.
From the Department of Neuroradiology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.
Received for publication November 22, 2010; accepted March 25, 2011.
Reprints: Marc A. Brockmann, MD, MSc, Department of Neuroradiology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1-3, 68167 Mannheim, Germany (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
H.U.K. and C.T.I. contributed equally.
The micro-computed tomography (Yxlon Y. Fox) was obtained from the HBFG grant 125-648 (Land Baden-Württemberg).