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Contrast-enhanced ultrasound for ovary assessment in a murine model: preliminary findings on the protective role of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue from chemotherapy-induced ovarian damage

Massimo Venturini, Alice Bergamini, Laura Perani, Ana Maria Sanchez, Elena Giulia Rossi, Anna Colarieti, Micaela Petrone, Francesco De Cobelli, Alessandro Del Maschio, Paola Viganò, Giorgia Mangili, Massimo Candiani, Carlo Tacchetti, Antonio Esposito
European Radiology Experimental2018
The prolonged, gonadotoxic effect of chemotherapy can finally lead to infertility in female cancer survivors. There is controversial evidence regarding the protective role of gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue (GnRH-a) on chemotherapy-induced ovarian damage. In the present study on a murine model, ultrasound (US) and contrast-enhanced US (CEUS) were firstly used to characterise ovarian glands in normal conditions to validate a preclinical model. In addition, preliminary findings were obtained on anatomical and vascular ovarian changes induced by GnRH-a based on decapeptyl administration. Ovaries were accurately assessed with US and CEUS in a murine model placed in prone position, providing quantitative and reproducible information. Ovaries were identified in 40/40 cases and CEUS analysis was successfully performed in 20/20 cases with 100% technical success. A statistically significant increase of the diameter of the dominant follicle at US and a statistically significant reduced vascularisation at CEUS in decapeptyl-treated mice compared to untreated control mice were recorded. Further studies using US and CEUS in the murine model combining GnRH-a and chemotherapeutic agents will be needed to obtain more translational information useful for clinical practice.

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