X-ray phase contrast tomography; proof of principle for post-mortem imaging

The British Journal of Radiology
Anna ZamirAlessandro Olivo


To demonstrate the feasibility of using X-ray phase-contrast tomography to assess internal organs in a post-mortem piglet model, as a possible non-invasive imaging autopsy technique. Tomographic images of a new-born piglet were obtained using a free-space propagation X-ray phase-contrast imaging setup at a synchrotron (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble, France). A monochromatic X-ray beam (52 keV) was used in combination with a detector pixel size of 46 × 46 µm(2). A phase-retrieval algorithm was applied to all projections, which were then reconstructed into tomograms using the filtered-back projection algorithm. Images were assessed for diagnostic quality. Images obtained with the free-space propagation setup presented high soft-tissue contrast and sufficient resolution for resolving organ structure. All of the main body organs (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and intestines) were easily identified and adequately visualized. In addition, grey/white matter differentiation in the cerebellum while still contained within the skull was shown. The feasibility of using X-ray phase-contrast tomography as a post-mortem imaging technique in an animal model has been demonstrated. Future studies will focus on translating this...Continue Reading


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