Investigation and identification of etiologies involved in the development of acquired hydronephrosis in aged laboratory mice with the use of high-frequency ultrasound imaging

Danielle A Springer, Michele Allen, Victoria Hoffman, Lauren Brinster, Matthew F Starost, Mark Bryant, Michael Eckhaus
Pathobiology of Aging & Age-related Diseases2014
Laboratory mice develop naturally occurring lesions that affect biomedical research. Hydronephrosis is a recognized pathologic abnormality of the mouse kidney. Acquired hydronephrosis can affect any mouse, as it is caused by any naturally occurring disease that impairs free urine flow. Many etiologies leading to this condition are of particular significance to aging mice. Non-invasive ultrasound imaging detects renal pelvic dilation, renal enlargement, and parenchymal loss for pre-mortem identification of this condition. High-frequency ultrasound transducers produce high-resolution images of small structures, ideal for detecting organ pathology in mice. Using a 40MHzlinear array transducer,we obtained high-resolution images of a diversity of pathologic lesions occurring within the abdomen of seven geriatric mice with acquired hydronephrosis that enabled a determination of the underlying etiology. Etiologies diagnosed from the imaging results include pyelonephritis, neoplasia, urolithiasis, mouse urologic syndrome, and spontaneous hydronephrosis, and were confirmed at necropsy. A retrospective review of abdominal scans from an additional 149 aging mice shows that the most common etiologies associated with acquired hydronephrosis are mouse urologic syndrome and abdominal neoplasia. This report highlights the utility of high-frequency ultrasound for surveying research mice for age- related pathology, and is the first comprehensive report of multiple cases of acquired hydronephrosis in mice.
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