In vivo measurements of perfusion present a challenge to existing small animal imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance microscopy, micro computed tomography, micro positron emission tomography, and microSPECT, due to combined requirements for high spatial and temporal resolution. We demonstrate the use of tomographic digital subtraction angiography (TDSA) for estimation of perfusion in small animals. TDSA augments conventional digital subtraction angiography (DSA) by providing three-dimensional spatial information using tomosynthesis algorithms. TDSA is based on the novel paradigm that the same time density curves can be reproduced in a number of consecutive injections of μL volumes of contrast at a series of different angles of rotation. The capabilities of TDSA are established in studies on lung perfusion in rats. Using an imaging system developed in-house, we acquired data for four-dimensional (4D) imaging with temporal resolution of 140 ms, in-plane spatial resolution of 100 μm, and slice thickness on the order of millimeters. Based on a structured experimental approach, we optimized TDSA imaging providing a good trade-off between slice thickness, the number of injections, contrast to noise, and immunity to artifacts. Both DSA and TDSA images were used to create parametric maps of perfusion. TDSA imaging has potential application in a number of areas where functional perfusion measurements in 4D can provide valuable insight into animal models of disease and response to therapeutics.
- Digital subtraction angiography
- Functional imaging
- Small animal
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging