To evaluate the utility of in vivo imaging of rabbit model of choroidal melanoma utilizing high-frequency contrast-enhanced ultrasound (HF-CE-US) with 2-or 3-dimensional modes, and to correlate the sonographic findings with histopathologic characteristics.
Five New Zealand white rabbits which were immunosuppressed with daily cyclosporin A were inoculated into their right eyes with aliquots of 1.5×106 / 50 µL of 92.1 human uveal melanoma cells cultured in RPMI. At week 4, the tumor-bearing eyes were imaged using high-frequency ultrasound with microbubble contrast agent to determine the 2-dimensional tumor size and relative blood volume and by 3-dimensional mode to determine tumor volume. Histologic tumor burden was quantified in enucleated eyes by ImageJ software, and microvascular density (MVD) was determined by counting vascular channels in PAS without hematoxylin sections.
Utilizing HF-CE-US, melanomas were visualized as relatively hyperechoic regions in the images. The correlation coefficients of sonographic size or volume compared with histologic area were 0.72 and 0.70, respectively. The sonographic tumor relative blood volume correlated with the histologic tumor vascularity (R2=0.92, P=0.04)
There is a positive correlation between in vivo sonographic tumor volume/size and histologic tumor size in our rabbit choroidal melanoma model. HF-CE-US corresponds to microvascular density and blood volume.