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Non-invasive microstructure and morphology investigation of the mouse lung: qualitative description and quantitative measurement.

Zhang L, Li D, Luo S - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: Early detection of lung cancer is known to improve the chances of successful treatment.The three-dimensional model of the lung was successfully established, which provided an excellent view of lung airways.Our results indicated that IL-XPCI had the ability to represent complex anatomical structures in lung.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Biomedical Engineering, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

ABSTRACT

Background: Early detection of lung cancer is known to improve the chances of successful treatment. However, lungs are soft tissues with complex three-dimensional configuration. Conventional X-ray imaging is based purely on absorption resulting in very low contrast when imaging soft tissues without contrast agents. It is difficult to obtain adequate information of lung lesions from conventional X-ray imaging.

Methods: In this study, a recently emerged imaging technique, in-line X-ray phase contrast imaging (IL-XPCI) was used. This powerful technique enabled high-resolution investigations of soft tissues without contrast agents. We applied IL-XPCI to observe the lungs in an intact mouse for the purpose of defining quantitatively the micro-structures in lung.

Findings: The three-dimensional model of the lung was successfully established, which provided an excellent view of lung airways. We highlighted the use of IL-XPCI in the visualization and assessment of alveoli which had rarely been studied in three dimensions (3D). The precise view of individual alveolus was achieved. The morphological parameters, such as diameter and alveolar surface area were measured. These parameters were of great importance in the diagnosis of diseases related to alveolus and alveolar scar.

Conclusion: Our results indicated that IL-XPCI had the ability to represent complex anatomical structures in lung. This offered a new perspective on the diagnosis of respiratory disease and may guide future work in the study of respiratory mechanism on the alveoli level.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Images of the lung.One projection image is shown in (A). The bronchus and some alveoli are clear in this image. The dark line pointed by a black arrow is the fissure of the lung. (B) and (C) are two different CT slices. The bronchus and alveoli can easily be discerned in these images with an edge enhancement. The mouse rib, alveoli, and bronchus are indicated by the black arrows.
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pone-0017400-g001: Images of the lung.One projection image is shown in (A). The bronchus and some alveoli are clear in this image. The dark line pointed by a black arrow is the fissure of the lung. (B) and (C) are two different CT slices. The bronchus and alveoli can easily be discerned in these images with an edge enhancement. The mouse rib, alveoli, and bronchus are indicated by the black arrows.

Mentions: A CT projection image of the mouse lung is shown in Figure 1A. Although in this image, all the tissues overlapped with each other, some bronchi, lobes and many alveoli can be discerned. Figure 1B and C are two slices of the CT reconstruction images. Compared to conventional X-ray CT, in-line X-ray phase contrast CT had a much higher resolution (about 13 µm in our experiment). Bone, bronchi and alveoli were easily discernible with clear edges, which made it possible to separate different anatomical structures using the image segmentation technique. In order to extract the lung tissue and remove background noise, we applied a threshold-based image segmentation method to the CT slices. A comparison between original CT slice and threshold-based segmentation result is presented in Figure 2. The threshold was chosen at the valley of the histogram (Figure 2B). Other pixels with intensity lower than the threshold were set to zero. After gray scale transformation, the resulted image was shown in Figure 2D. From the profiles at the white line drawn in the same place of the two CT slices, the background noise in the image was considerably reduced.


Non-invasive microstructure and morphology investigation of the mouse lung: qualitative description and quantitative measurement.

Zhang L, Li D, Luo S - PLoS ONE (2011)

Images of the lung.One projection image is shown in (A). The bronchus and some alveoli are clear in this image. The dark line pointed by a black arrow is the fissure of the lung. (B) and (C) are two different CT slices. The bronchus and alveoli can easily be discerned in these images with an edge enhancement. The mouse rib, alveoli, and bronchus are indicated by the black arrows.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3045447&req=5

pone-0017400-g001: Images of the lung.One projection image is shown in (A). The bronchus and some alveoli are clear in this image. The dark line pointed by a black arrow is the fissure of the lung. (B) and (C) are two different CT slices. The bronchus and alveoli can easily be discerned in these images with an edge enhancement. The mouse rib, alveoli, and bronchus are indicated by the black arrows.
Mentions: A CT projection image of the mouse lung is shown in Figure 1A. Although in this image, all the tissues overlapped with each other, some bronchi, lobes and many alveoli can be discerned. Figure 1B and C are two slices of the CT reconstruction images. Compared to conventional X-ray CT, in-line X-ray phase contrast CT had a much higher resolution (about 13 µm in our experiment). Bone, bronchi and alveoli were easily discernible with clear edges, which made it possible to separate different anatomical structures using the image segmentation technique. In order to extract the lung tissue and remove background noise, we applied a threshold-based image segmentation method to the CT slices. A comparison between original CT slice and threshold-based segmentation result is presented in Figure 2. The threshold was chosen at the valley of the histogram (Figure 2B). Other pixels with intensity lower than the threshold were set to zero. After gray scale transformation, the resulted image was shown in Figure 2D. From the profiles at the white line drawn in the same place of the two CT slices, the background noise in the image was considerably reduced.

Bottom Line: Early detection of lung cancer is known to improve the chances of successful treatment.The three-dimensional model of the lung was successfully established, which provided an excellent view of lung airways.Our results indicated that IL-XPCI had the ability to represent complex anatomical structures in lung.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Biomedical Engineering, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

ABSTRACT

Background: Early detection of lung cancer is known to improve the chances of successful treatment. However, lungs are soft tissues with complex three-dimensional configuration. Conventional X-ray imaging is based purely on absorption resulting in very low contrast when imaging soft tissues without contrast agents. It is difficult to obtain adequate information of lung lesions from conventional X-ray imaging.

Methods: In this study, a recently emerged imaging technique, in-line X-ray phase contrast imaging (IL-XPCI) was used. This powerful technique enabled high-resolution investigations of soft tissues without contrast agents. We applied IL-XPCI to observe the lungs in an intact mouse for the purpose of defining quantitatively the micro-structures in lung.

Findings: The three-dimensional model of the lung was successfully established, which provided an excellent view of lung airways. We highlighted the use of IL-XPCI in the visualization and assessment of alveoli which had rarely been studied in three dimensions (3D). The precise view of individual alveolus was achieved. The morphological parameters, such as diameter and alveolar surface area were measured. These parameters were of great importance in the diagnosis of diseases related to alveolus and alveolar scar.

Conclusion: Our results indicated that IL-XPCI had the ability to represent complex anatomical structures in lung. This offered a new perspective on the diagnosis of respiratory disease and may guide future work in the study of respiratory mechanism on the alveoli level.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus