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Evaluation of quantified contrast-enhanced color and power Doppler ultrasonography for the assessment of vascularity and perfusion of naturally occurring tumors in dogs

Myriam SchärzSection of Diagnostic Imaging and Radio-Oncology, Vetsuisse-Faculty, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zürich, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland.

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Stefanie OhlerthSection of Diagnostic Imaging and Radio-Oncology, Vetsuisse-Faculty, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zürich, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland.

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Roger AchermannSection of Diagnostic Imaging and Radio-Oncology, Vetsuisse-Faculty, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zürich, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland.
Present address is Small Animal Clinic Rhenus, Gewerbezentrum Arova, 8247 Flurlingen, Switzerland.

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Olivier GardelleSection of Diagnostic Imaging and Radio-Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zürich, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland.
Present address is Vetimage, PO Box 408, 8172 Niederglatt, Switzerland.

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Malgorzata RoosInstitute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zürich, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland.

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H. Mark SaundersSection of Radiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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Melanie WerginSection of Diagnostic Imaging and Radio-Oncology, Vetsuisse-Faculty, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zürich, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland.

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Barbara Kaser-HotzSection of Diagnostic Imaging and Radio-Oncology, Vetsuisse-Faculty, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zürich, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland.

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Abstract

Objective—To investigate subjective and computerized methods of evaluation of color Doppler (CD) and power Doppler (PD) ultrasonographic images (obtained before and after administration of contrast medium) for quantitative assessment of vascularity and perfusion of various naturally occurring tumors in dogs.

Sample Population—34 tumors in 34 dogs.

Procedure—Tumors in dogs were examined via CD and PD ultrasonography before and after IV injection of a microbubble contrast agent (pre- and postcontrast examinations, respectively). Images were digitized for subjective assessment of vessel density and vascular pattern and computer-aided assessment of parameters of vascularity (fractional area [FA]) and perfusion (color-weighted FA [CWFA] and mean color level).

Results—With both analysis methods, more vessels were identified in precontrast PD ultrasonographic images than in precontrast CD ultrasonographic images. Moreover, compared with values for precontrast PD ultrasonography, FA, CWFA, and mean color level were higher for postcontrast PD ultrasonography. In postcontrast images, there was a significant association between vessel densities determined through subjective and computerized assessments. Although sample size was small, vascularity of squamous cell carcinomas was significantly greater than that of other tumor types. Ten of the 19 soft tissue sarcomas had low vessel density with minor contrast enhancement. With increasing gross tumor volume, FA and CWFA decreased for all Doppler ultrasonographic methods.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Higher values of the ultrasonographic parameters representing vascularity and perfusion of tumors in dogs were determined via PD ultrasonography after administration of contrast medium than via PD or CD ultrasonography without administration of contrast medium. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:21–29)

Abstract

Objective—To investigate subjective and computerized methods of evaluation of color Doppler (CD) and power Doppler (PD) ultrasonographic images (obtained before and after administration of contrast medium) for quantitative assessment of vascularity and perfusion of various naturally occurring tumors in dogs.

Sample Population—34 tumors in 34 dogs.

Procedure—Tumors in dogs were examined via CD and PD ultrasonography before and after IV injection of a microbubble contrast agent (pre- and postcontrast examinations, respectively). Images were digitized for subjective assessment of vessel density and vascular pattern and computer-aided assessment of parameters of vascularity (fractional area [FA]) and perfusion (color-weighted FA [CWFA] and mean color level).

Results—With both analysis methods, more vessels were identified in precontrast PD ultrasonographic images than in precontrast CD ultrasonographic images. Moreover, compared with values for precontrast PD ultrasonography, FA, CWFA, and mean color level were higher for postcontrast PD ultrasonography. In postcontrast images, there was a significant association between vessel densities determined through subjective and computerized assessments. Although sample size was small, vascularity of squamous cell carcinomas was significantly greater than that of other tumor types. Ten of the 19 soft tissue sarcomas had low vessel density with minor contrast enhancement. With increasing gross tumor volume, FA and CWFA decreased for all Doppler ultrasonographic methods.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Higher values of the ultrasonographic parameters representing vascularity and perfusion of tumors in dogs were determined via PD ultrasonography after administration of contrast medium than via PD or CD ultrasonography without administration of contrast medium. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:21–29)