Techniques for imaging the lung have been successfully implemented and validated in humans. These techniques are also of great interest in a preclinical setting, as they provide valuable information on the lung structure and function in a non-invasive manner. This qualitative and quantitative assessment of the lung can therefore be performed in a repetitive manner in order to establish a diagnosis, follow lung growth or disease progression over time, quantify the amount of change or assess the impact of a given therapeutic intervention.
At the preclinical level, the acquisition of high resolution images is technically more challenging due to the small size of the structures and the constant motion of the respiratory system which produces artifacts. The programmable aspect of the flexiVent allows advanced gating techniques by enabling image capture during breath hold, which greatly increases image contrast and resolution. Other advantages of this gating technique include the ability to perform respiratory mechanics measurements during the imaging session to complement the study or help image interpretation.
The flexiVent gating protocols could equally be applied to capture high resolution images of other thoracic structures, including cardiac structures, which can also be affected by the motion artifacts of the respiratory system.
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