Facilities and Equipment
The G.E. eXplore RS rodent CT scanner is located in the ISIVR of the Moores Cancer Center. This scanner can image small animals at resolutions of 45 or 90µm and in vitro specimens at 27µm. The system uses a volumetric conebeam technology that unlike conventional CT allows the entire volume of a sample to be imaged in one rotation rather than slice-by-slice. This permits the entire field-of-view (88 mm imaging diameter) to be scanned in 3 to 15 minutes, delivering 0.1 - 0.38Gy depending on the spatial resolution and SNR desired.
High-resolution rodent CT imaging provides a backdrop for fusion with the high sensitivity low resolution PET and optical imaging. In combination with a CT blood pool agent  given IV or IP, CT will allow the detection and monitoring of intra-abdominal tumors. In addition, the ability to image mice with CT in-lieu of rabbits will accelerate contrast development by allowing the use of well established models of human diseases and by allowing the use of laboratory batches of agents that can be scaled down over one-hundred-fold.
- High-resolution anatomic delineation for fusion with Optical, PET, MR, or SPECT images
- Measurement of tumor burden particularly after IV contrast administration
- Aids in the development of CT-based agents
- Assessment of skeletal abnormalities and tumors
Measurement of Tumor Burden
CT imaging experiments can be used to assess lung tumors and metastases and bone tumors without the need for contrast media. To assess for soft tissue or hepatic tumors, IV or even intraperitoneal contrast may be required.
CT imaging will be performed in high resolution to provide anatomic landmarks to co-localize signals acquired with PET, SPECT or optical imaging.
Development of CT-Based Contrast Media
We can currently use Dy-DTPA-Dextran  that serves as a CT blood pool agent and PFOB emulsion  that serves as a blood pool and hepatic and splenic imaging agent. These agents are manufactured in our facilities as needed. In addition to IV administration then can be given IP for abdominal and pelvic imaging. PFOB emulsion can also be given SQ to localize the draining lymph nodes. We aim to ultimately develop targeted agents or possibly molecular imaging agents.
- Vera DR (2002), Mattrey RF: A Molecular CT Blood Pool Contrast Agent. Academic Radiol; 9:784-792
- Mattrey RF: Perfluorooctyl bromide: A New Contrast Agent for CT, Sonography, and MR Imaging: Amer J Roentgenology. 1989; 152:247-252.