Purpose The embryology of common congenital malformations is discussed controversially. Studies are hampered by a shortage of study material and techniques which require partial or complete preparation and therewith destruction of embryos. X-ray micro-computed-tomography (µCT) is a technical opportunity keeping the embryos intact. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the applicability of µCT in embryonic research compared to the anatomical information obtained by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Methods Chicken, rat, mouse and sheep embryos, processed either for SEM studies or as whole embryos, were imaged in three-dimensional (3D) using µCT. The obtained two-dimensional (2D) digital datasets were volume rendered by tomographic reconstruction software and studied using analysis software. Results All embryos were µCT scanned without technical problems. The quality of the µCT images (image contrast, ana- tomical details) was excellent, but varied depending on age and species studied. µCT imaging allowed a more comprehensive anatomical/morphological analysis but showed less surface details compared to SEM. Conclusion µCT is a technique suitable and innovative for pediatric surgical research, which allows detailed evaluation of entire embryos without time- and specimen-consuming micro-dissection. Samples prepared for SEM can be used for µCT and vice versa. Keywords Embryology · X-ray micro-computed-tomography · Scanning electron
Pediatric Surgery International – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 22, 2017
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