Original Contribution: Quantification of Tumor Microvascularity with Respiratory Gated Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound for Monitoring Therapy
AuthorAverkiou, Michalakis A.
SourceUltrasound in medicine & biology
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The aim of this feasibility study was to evaluate the response to cytotoxic and antiangiogenic treatment of colorectal liver metastasis using respiratory gated contrast enhanced ultrasonography. Seven patients were monitored with contrast enhanced ultrasound. Sulfur hexafluoride filled microbubbles (SonoVueBracco S.P.A., Milan, Italy) were used as contrast agent and the scans were performed with a nonlinear imaging technique (power modulation) at low transmit power (MI=0.06). The mean image intensity in the metastatic lesion and in the normal liver parenchyma were measured as a function of time and time-intensity curves from linearized image data were formed. A novel respiratory gating technique was utilized to minimize the effects of respiratory motion on the images. A reference position of the diaphragm (or other echogenic interface) was selected and all frames where the diaphragm deviated from that position were rejected. The wash-in time (start of enhancement to peak) of metastasis and adjacent normal liver parenchyma was measured from time-intensity curves. The ratio of wash-in time of the lesion to that of the normal parenchyma (WITR) was used to compare the perfusion rate. In a reproducibility study (five patients), the average deviation of WITR was found to be 9%. There was an increase in the WITR for patients responding to treatment (mean WITR increase of 17% after first dose of treatment and 75% at the end of the therapy). In four out of five patients (80%) responding to therapy WITR predicted their response from the first treatment. All six patients that responded to therapy by the end of the therapy cycle (6–9 doses) were correctly predicted by using WITR. The WITR may be a new surrogate marker indicative of early tumor response for colorectal cancer patients undergoing cytotoxic and antiangiogenic therapy. (E-mail: email@example.com)