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Evaluation of a Continuous-Rotation, High-Speed Scanning Protocol for Micro-Computed Tomography

Kerl, Hans Ulrich MD; Isaza, Cristina T.; Boll, Hanne MVD; Schambach, Sebastian J. MD; Nolte, Ingo S. MD; Groden, Christoph MD; Brockmann, Marc A. MD, MSc

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: July-August 2011 - Volume 35 - Issue 4 - p 517-523
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e31821c662b
Muscoloskeletal Imaging

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:

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).

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.