Microfocal X-ray CT Imaging and Pulmonary Arterial Distensibility in Excised Rat Lungs

Document Type




Format of Original

11 p.

Publication Date



American Physiological Society

Source Publication

American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.2001.281.3.H1447


The objective of this study was to develop an X-ray computed tomographic method for measuring pulmonary arterial dimensions and locations within the intact rat lung. Lungs were removed from rats and their pulmonary arterial trees were filled with perfluorooctyl bromide to enhance X-ray absorbance. The lungs were rotated within the cone of the X-ray beam projected from a microfocal X-ray source onto an image intensifier, and 360 images were obtained at 1° increments. The three-dimensional image volumes were reconstructed with isotropic resolution using a cone beam reconstruction algorithm. The vessel diameters were obtained by fitting a functional form to the image of the vessel circular cross section. The functional form was chosen to take into account the point spread function of the image acquisition and reconstruction system. The diameter measurements obtained over a range of vascular pressures were used to characterize the distensibility of the rat pulmonary arteries. The distensibility coefficient α [defined by D(P) =D(0)(1 + αP), where D(P) is the diameter at intravascular pressure (P)] was ∼2.8% mmHg and independent of vessel diameter in the diameter range (about 100 to 2,000 mm) studied.


American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, Vol. 281, No. 3 (September 2001): H1447–H1457. DOI.