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Velroyen, A.; Yaroshenko, A.; Hahn, D.; Fehringer, A.; Tapfer, A.; Müller, M.; Noel, P. B.; Pauwels, B.; Sasov, A.; Yildirim, A. Ö.; Eickelberg, O.; Hellbach, K.; Auweter, S. D.; Meinel, F. G.; Reiser, M. F.; Bech, M.; Pfeiffer, F. (2015): Grating-based X-ray Dark-field Computed Tomography of Living Mice. In: Ebiomedicine, Vol. 2, No. 10: pp. 1500-1506
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Abstract

Changes in x-ray attenuating tissue caused by lung disorders like emphysema or fibrosis are subtle and thus only resolved by high-resolution computed tomography (CT). The structural reorganization, however, is of strong influence for lung function. Dark-field CT (DFCT),based on small-angle scattering of x-rays, reveals such structural changes even at resolutions coarser than the pulmonary network and thus provides access to their anatomical distribution. In this proof-of-concept study we present x-ray in vivo DFCTs of lungs of a healthy, an emphysematous and a fibrotic mouse. The tomographies show excellent depiction of the distribution of structural - and thus indirectly functional - changes in lung parenchyma, on single-modality slices in dark field as well as on multimodal fusion images. Therefore, we anticipate numerous applications of DFCT in diagnostic lung imaging. We introduce a scatter-based Hounsfield Unit (sHU) scale to facilitate comparability of scans. In this newly defined sHU scale, the pathophysiological changes by emphysema and fibrosis cause a shift towards lower numbers, compared to healthy lung tissue. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.