High-frequency ultrasound for in vivo measurement of colon wall thickness in mice.

Mostafa a, Abdelrahman, Gemma, Marston, Mark a, Hull, Alexander F, Markham, Pamela F, Jones, J Anthony, Evans, P Louise, Coletta

Ultrasound in medicine & biology |

Mouse models are becoming increasingly important in the study of molecular mechanisms of colorectal disease and in the development of novel therapeutics. To enhance this phase of preclinical research, cost-effective, easy to use noninvasive imaging is required to detect and monitor changes in the colon wall associated with disease pathology. This study investigated the feasibility of using 40-MHz (high frequency) B-mode ultrasound (HF-US) to image the normal mouse colon and measure its thickness in vivo by establishing a robust imaging protocol and conducting a blinded comparison of colon wall thickness (CWT) measurement between and within operators. The in vivo and ex vivo appearance of mouse colon under HF-US revealed distinct patterns. Colon wall thickness was reproducibly and accurately measured using HF-US compared with histology measurement. The technique was more sensitive in detecting changes in CWT in distal than proximal colon as it showed the highest level of inter- and intraoperator reproducibility. Using the protocol described, it is possible to detect changes in thickness of 0.09 mm and 0.25 mm in distal and proximal colon, respectively. In conclusion, HF-US provides an easy to use and noninvasive method to perform anatomical investigations of mouse colon and to monitor changes in CWT.