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Willner, Marian; Fior, Gabriel; Marschner, Mathias; Birnbacher, Lorenz; Schock, Jonathan; Braun, Christian; Fingerle, Alexander A.; Noel, Peter B.; Rummeny, Ernst J.; Pfeiffer, Franz; Herzen, Julia (2015): Phase-Contrast Hounsfield Units of Fixated and Non-Fixated Soft-Tissue Samples.
In: PLOS ONE 10(8), e0137016


X-ray phase-contrast imaging is a novel technology that achieves high soft-tissue contrast. Although its clinical impact is still under investigation, the technique may potentially improve clinical diagnostics. In conventional attenuation-based X-ray computed tomography, radiological diagnostics are quantified by Hounsfield units. Corresponding Hounsfield units for phase-contrast imaging have been recently introduced, enabling a setup-independent comparison and standardized interpretation of imaging results. Thus far, the experimental values of few tissue types have been reported;these values have been determined from fixated tissue samples. This study presents phase-contrast Hounsfield units for various types of non-fixated human soft tissues. A large variety of tissue specimens ranging from adipose, muscle and connective tissues to liver, kidney and pancreas tissues were imaged by a grating interferometer with a rotating-anode X-ray tube and a photon-counting detector. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of formalin fixation on the quantitative phase-contrast imaging results.