Phantom and cadaver measurements of dose and dose distribution in micro-CT of the chest in mice
Background: Micro-computed tomography (CT) allows high-resolution imaging of the chest in mice for small animal research with a significant radiation dose applied. Purpose: To report on measurement of the applied radiation dose using different scan protocols in micro-CT of the chest in mice. Material and Methods: Repetitive dose measurements were performed for four different micro-CT protocols (with/without respiratory gating) and for micro-CT fluoroscopy used for chest imaging. Measurements were carried out using thermoluminescence dosimeters (TLD) in mouse cadavers and in a PMMA phantom allowing measurement of the radiation dose in the direct path of rays and assessment of scattered radiation. Results: The dose measured inside and outside the chests of the cadavers varied between 190 und 210 mGy, respectively. The expected mean doses in mice in the direct path of rays for the four examined micro-CT protocols varied between 170 and 280 mGy. The mean values for 1 and 5 minutes of fluoroscopy were 17 mGy and 105 mGy, respectively. Conclusion: The measured dose values are similar to the dose values for micro-CT of the chest reported so far. A relevant dose can be delivered by micro-CT of the chest, which could possibly interact with small animal studies. Therefore, the applied dose for a specific protocol should be known and adverse radiation effects be considered.