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1.  Correlation of X-Ray Computed Tomography with Quantitative Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Methods for Pre-Clinical Measurement of Adipose and Lean Tissues in Living Mice 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2014;14(10):18526-18542.
Numerous obesity studies have coupled murine models with non-invasive methods to quantify body composition in longitudinal experiments, including X-ray computed tomography (CT) or quantitative nuclear magnetic resonance (QMR). Both microCT and QMR have been separately validated with invasive techniques of adipose tissue quantification, like post-mortem fat extraction and measurement. Here we report a head-to-head study of both protocols using oil phantoms and mouse populations to determine the parameters that best align CT data with that from QMR. First, an in vitro analysis of oil/water mixtures was used to calibrate and assess the overall accuracy of microCT vs. QMR data. Next, experiments were conducted with two cohorts of living mice (either homogenous or heterogeneous by sex, age and genetic backgrounds) to assess the microCT imaging technique for adipose tissue segmentation and quantification relative to QMR. Adipose mass values were obtained from microCT data with three different resolutions, after which the data were analyzed with different filter and segmentation settings. Strong linearity was noted between the adipose mass values obtained with microCT and QMR, with optimal parameters and scan conditions reported herein. Lean tissue (muscle, internal organs) was also segmented and quantified using the microCT method relative to the analogous QMR values. Overall, the rigorous calibration and validation of the microCT method for murine body composition, relative to QMR, ensures its validity for segmentation, quantification and visualization of both adipose and lean tissues.
PMCID: PMC4239858  PMID: 25299952
X-ray CT; microCT; computed tomography; QMR; quantitative magnetic resonance; adipose tissue; body composition; obesity
2.  In vivo X-Ray Computed Tomographic Imaging of Soft Tissue with Native, Intravenous, or Oral Contrast 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2013;13(6):6957-6980.
X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) is one of the most commonly utilized anatomical imaging modalities for both research and clinical purposes. CT combines high-resolution, three-dimensional data with relatively fast acquisition to provide a solid platform for non-invasive human or specimen imaging. The primary limitation of CT is its inability to distinguish many soft tissues based on native contrast. While bone has high contrast within a CT image due to its material density from calcium phosphate, soft tissue is less dense and many are homogenous in density. This presents a challenge in distinguishing one type of soft tissue from another. A couple exceptions include the lungs as well as fat, both of which have unique densities owing to the presence of air or bulk hydrocarbons, respectively. In order to facilitate X-ray CT imaging of other structures, a range of contrast agents have been developed to selectively identify and visualize the anatomical properties of individual tissues. Most agents incorporate atoms like iodine, gold, or barium because of their ability to absorb X-rays, and thus impart contrast to a given organ system. Here we review the strategies available to visualize lung, fat, brain, kidney, liver, spleen, vasculature, gastrointestinal tract, and liver tissues of living mice using either innate contrast, or commercial injectable or ingestible agents with selective perfusion. Further, we demonstrate how each of these approaches will facilitate the non-invasive, longitudinal, in vivo imaging of pre-clinical disease models at each anatomical site.
PMCID: PMC3715264  PMID: 23711461
X-ray CT; computed tomography; X-ray contrast agents; review; lungs; adipose; gi tract; vasculature; kidney; liver
3.  Dual tracer imaging of SPECT and PET probes in living mice using a sequential protocol 
Over the past 20 years, multimodal imaging strategies have motivated the fusion of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) or Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) scans with an X-ray computed tomography (CT) image to provide anatomical information, as well as a framework with which molecular and functional images may be co-registered. Recently, pre-clinical nuclear imaging technology has evolved to capture multiple SPECT or multiple PET tracers to further enhance the information content gathered within an imaging experiment. However, the use of SPECT and PET probes together, in the same animal, has remained a challenge. Here we describe a straightforward method using an integrated trimodal imaging system and a sequential dosing/acquisition protocol to achieve dual tracer imaging with 99mTc and 18F isotopes, along with anatomical CT, on an individual specimen. Dosing and imaging is completed so that minimal animal manipulations are required, full trimodal fusion is conserved, and tracer crosstalk including down-scatter of the PET tracer in SPECT mode is avoided. This technique will enhance the ability of preclinical researchers to detect multiple disease targets and perform functional, molecular, and anatomical imaging on individual specimens to increase the information content gathered within longitudinal in vivo studies.
PMCID: PMC3484419  PMID: 23145357
Dual tracer imaging; trimodal imaging; Positron Emission Tomography (PET); Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT); X-ray Computed Tomography (CT); nuclear imaging

Results 1-3 (3)