Targeted contrast for bone metastases and validation with MRI and Histology

The authors evaluate the potential of ultrasound to detect bone metastases in a rat model of metastatic breast cancer. They develop an automated 3D methodology to determine lesion morphology and perfusion, and validate these measurements with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Key Points/Summary:

  • Skeletal tissue is one of the most common sites of metastasis in breast cancer
  • Currently, assessment of bone metastasis burden is performed using CT, PET, and MRI, however these methods are limited by cost, use of ionizing radiation, and long imaging times
  • Automated 3D ultrasound (US) methodology to measure bone metastasis morphology was developed
  • US was performed using the Vevo 3100 system and the MX250 probe
    • 3D scans of bone metastasis were acquired in nude rats injected with MDA-MB-231
    • Lesion perfusion was measured with non-linear contrast with MicroMarker
    • Morphological and perfusion measurements were validated with MRI
  • US successfully identified and localized metastatic tissue in relation to normal bone
  • There were no significant difference in tumor size measured by US and MRI
  • Contrast-enhanced US also successfully provided perfusion measurements in the lesion

This work provides a straightforward methodology for US-based assessment of bone metastasis size and perfusion parameters in pre-clinical models.

Heinen, H. et al. Morphological, functional, and molecular assessment of breast cancer bone metastases by experimental ultrasound techniques compared with magnetic resonance imaging and histological analysis. Bone 144, (2021).