Grating-based X-ray Dark-field Computed Tomography of Living Mice.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Changes in x-ray attenuating tissue caused by lung disorders like emphysema or fibrosis are subtle and thus only resolved by high-resolution computed tomography (CT). The structural reorganization, however, is of strong influence for lung function. Dark-field CT (DFCT), based on small-angle scattering of x-rays, reveals such structural changes even at resolutions coarser than the pulmonary network and thus provides access to their anatomical distribution. In this proof-of-concept study we present x-ray in vivo DFCTs of lungs of a healthy, an emphysematous and a fibrotic mouse. The tomographies show excellent depiction of the distribution of structural - and thus indirectly functional - changes in lung parenchyma, on single-modality slices in dark field as well as on multimodal fusion images. Therefore, we anticipate numerous applications of DFCT in diagnostic lung imaging. We introduce a scatter-based Hounsfield Unit (sHU) scale to facilitate comparability of scans. In this newly defined sHU scale, the pathophysiological changes by emphysema and fibrosis cause a shift towards lower numbers, compared to healthy lung tissue.


  • A Velroyen
  • A Yaroshenko
  • D Hahn
  • A Fehringer
  • A Tapfer
  • M Müller
  • P B Noël
  • B Pauwels
  • A Sasov
  • A Ö Yildirim
  • O Eickelberg
  • K Hellbach
  • S D Auweter
  • F G Meinel
  • M F Reiser
  • Martin Bech
  • F Pfeiffer
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1500-1506
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch