Assessment of cone beam computed tomography techniques for imaging lung damage in mice in vivo

Dawn Cavanaugh, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Lung damage is a common side effect of chemotherapeutic drugs such as bleomycin. This study used a bleomycin mouse model which simulates the lung damage observed in humans. Noninvasive, in vivo cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) was used to visualize and quantify fibrotic and inflammatory damage over the entire lung volume of mice. Bleomycin was used to induce pulmonary damage in vivo and the results from two CBCT systems, a micro-CT and flat panel CT (fpCT), were compared to histologic measurements, the standard method of murine lung damage quantification. Twenty C57BL/6 mice were given either 3 U/kg of bleomycin or saline intratracheally. The mice were scanned at baseline, before the administration of bleomycin, and then 10, 14, and 21 days afterward. At each time point, a subset of mice was sacrificed for histologic analysis. The resulting CT images were used to assess lung volume. Percent lung damage (PLD) was calculated for each mouse on both the fpCT (PLDfpcT) and the micro-CT (PLDμCT). Histologic PLD (PLDH) was calculated for each histologic section at each time point (day 10, n = 4; day 14, n = 4; day 21, n = 5; control group, n = 5). A linear regression was applied to the PLDfpCT vs. PLDH, PLDμCT vs. PLDH and PLDfpCT vs. PLDμCT distributions. This study did not demonstrate strong correlations between PLDCT and PLDH. The coefficient of determination, R, was 0.68 for PLDμCT vs. PLDH and 0.75 for the PLD fpCT vs. PLDH. The experimental issues identified from this study were: (1) inconsistent inflation of the lungs from scan to scan, (2) variable distribution of damage (one histologic section not representative of overall lung damage), (3) control mice not scanned with each group of bleomycin mice, (4) two CT systems caused long anesthesia time for the mice, and (5) respiratory gating did not hold the volume of lung constant throughout the scan. Addressing these issues might allow for further improvement of the correlation between PLDCT and PLDH.

Subject Area

Radiation|Biomedical research

Recommended Citation

Cavanaugh, Dawn, "Assessment of cone beam computed tomography techniques for imaging lung damage in mice in vivo" (2005). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3195260.