Intact Imaging of Human Heart Structure Using X-ray Phase-Contrast Tomography

Pediatric Cardiology
Yukihiro KanekoTakuro Tsukube


Structural examination of human heart specimens at the microscopic level is a prerequisite for understanding congenital heart diseases. It is desirable not to destroy or alter the properties of such specimens because of their scarcity. However, many of the currently available imaging techniques either destroy the specimen through sectioning or alter the chemical and mechanical properties of the specimen through staining and contrast agent injection. As a result, subsequent studies may not be possible. X-ray phase-contrast tomography is an imaging modality for biological soft tissues that does not destroy or alter the properties of the specimen. The feasibility of X-ray phase-contrast tomography for the structural examination of heart specimens was tested using infantile and fetal heart specimens without congenital diseases. X-ray phase-contrast tomography was carried out at the SPring-8 synchrotron radiation facility using the Talbot grating interferometer at the bending magnet beamline BL20B2 to visualize the structure of five non-pretreated whole heart specimens obtained by autopsy. High-resolution, three-dimensional images were obtained for all specimens. The images clearly showed the myocardial structure, coronary vessels, ...Continue Reading


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Oct 25, 2014·Journal of Synchrotron Radiation·Masato HoshinoNaoto Yagi
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