In Vivo High-Frequency, Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasonography of Uveal Melanoma in Mice: Imaging Features and Histopathologic Correlations

Qing Zhang, Hua Yang, Shin J. Kang, Yanggan Wang, Geoffrey D. Wang, Tonya Coulthard, Hans E. Grossniklaus
Investigative Opthalmology & Visual Science2011
PURPOSE: To evaluate the usefulness of in vivo imaging of uveal melanoma in mice using high-frequency contrast-enhanced ultrasound (HF-CE-US) with 2D or 3D modes and to correlate the sonographic findings with histopathologic characteristics.\n\nMETHODS: Fourteen 12-week-old C57BL6 mice were inoculated into their right eyes with aliquots of 5 × 10(5)/2.5 μL B16LS9 melanoma cells and were randomly assigned to either of two groups. At 7 days after inoculation, tumor-bearing eyes in group 1 (n = 8) were imaged using HF-CE-US to determine the 2D tumor size and relative blood volume; eyes in group 2 (n = 6) were imaged by 3D microbubble contrast-enhanced ultrasound, and the tumor volume was determined. Histologic tumor burden was quantified in enucleated eyes by image processing software, and microvascular density was determined by counting von Willebrand factor-positive vascular channels. Ultrasound images were evaluated and compared with histopathologic findings.\n\nRESULTS: Using HF-CE-US, melanomas were visualized as relatively hyperechoic regions. The intraobserver variability of sonographic measurements was 9.65% ± 7.89%, and the coefficient of variation for multiple measurements was 7.33% ± 5.71%. The correlation coefficient of sonographic volume or size and histologic area was 0.71 (P = 0.11) and 0.79 (P = 0.32). The relative blood volume within the tumor demonstrated sonographically correlated significantly with histologic tumor vascularity (r = 0.83; P < 0.001).\n\nCONCLUSIONS: There was a positive linear correlation between sonographic tumor measurements and histologic tumor burden in the mouse ocular melanoma model. Contrast-enhanced intensity corresponded with microvascular density and blood volume. HF-CE-US is a real-time, noninvasive, reliable method for in vivo evaluation of experimental intraocular melanoma tumor area and relative blood volume.

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