Publication Details

Doost, A., Rangel, A., Nguyen, Q., Morahan, G. & Arnolda, L. (2020). Micro-CT scan with virtual dissection of left ventricle is a non-destructive, reproducible alternative to dissection and weighing for left ventricular size. Scientific Reports, 10 (1),


© 2020, The Author(s). Micro-CT scan images enhanced by iodine staining provide high-resolution visualisation of soft tissues in laboratory mice. We have compared Micro-CT scan-derived left ventricular (LV) mass with dissection and weighing. Ex-vivo micro-CT scan images of the mouse hearts were obtained following staining by iodine. The LV was segmented and its volume was assessed using a semi-automated method by Drishti software. The left ventricle was then dissected in the laboratory and its actual weight was measured and compared against the estimated results. LV mass was calculated multiplying its estimated volume and myocardial specific gravity. Thirty-five iodine-stained post-natal mouse hearts were studied. Mice were of either sex and 68 to 352 days old (median age 202 days with interquartile range 103 to 245 days) at the time of sacrifice. Samples were from 20 genetically diverse strains. Median mouse body weight was 29 g with interquartile range 24 to 34 g. Left Ventricular weights ranged from 40.0 to 116.7 mg. The segmented LV mass estimated from micro-CT scan and directly measured dissected LV mass were strongly correlated (R2 = 0. 97). Segmented LV mass derived from Micro-CT images was very similar to the physically dissected LV mass (mean difference = 0.09 mg; 95% confidence interval − 3.29 mg to 3.1 mg). Micro-CT scanning provides a non-destructive, efficient and accurate visualisation tool for anatomical analysis of animal heart models of human cardiovascular conditions. Iodine-stained soft tissue imaging empowers researchers to perform qualitative and quantitative assessment of the cardiac structures with preservation of the samples for future histological analysis.



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