Table 1.

Comparison of common tumor imaging modalities for use with small animals

MRICTPETSPECTBLIBFIUS
Equipment sizeLargeSmallSmallSmallSmallSmallSmall
ResolutionHighHighLowLowLowLowHigh
Session timeHoursMinutesHoursHoursMinutesMinutesMinutes
Provides functional informationNot usually*NoYesYesYesYesNot usually
Staffing/training requirementsHighIntermediateIntermediateIntermediateLowLowIntermediate
Requires engineered strains of miceNoNoNoNoYesYesNo
Approximate capital cost>$1 million$100K-250K∼$250K∼$250K$100K-250K$100K-250K$200K
  • Abbreviations: MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; CT, computed tomography; PET, positron emission tomography; SPECT, single photon emission computed tomography; BLI, bioluminescent imaging; BFI, blood flow imaging; US, ultrasound.

  • * Advanced applications may incorporate magnetic particles or other contrast agents to provide functional information.

  • Doppler ultrasound provides information on blood flow.