WE-C-BRC-03: Evaluating Extent of Cell Death in 3D Mid-To-High Frequency Ultrasound by Registration with Whole-Mount Tumor Histopathology Academic Article uri icon

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  • Purpose: In this study, we investigate the precision and accuracy of mid‐to‐high frequency ultrasound imaging to assess non‐invasively cell death for incorporation of this method in pre‐clinical and clinical practice to characterize tumor response to radiotherapy.Method and Materials:Tumor xenografts (n=8) of head and neck cancer were exposed to radiationdoses of 2, 4 and 8Gy. Ultrasoundimages were collected with an ultrasoundscanner using frequencies of 15–35MHz before and 24 hours after exposure to radiation. Irradiated tumors exhibited large hyperechoic regions in ultrasoundsimages 24 hours after exposure to radiation that corresponded to areas of cell death in histology. The ultrasoundimages were registered with the histological images of the tumor slices taken at regular intervals. The tumor was contoured on histological slices and ultrasoundimages, the regions of cell death were contoured on histological slices and the hyperechoic regions were contoured on ultrasoundimages. Each set of contours was converted to a surface mesh. The volume and center of mass were calculated for each representation determined by a surface mesh. Results: The average difference between the relative (to histology) volume representations in histology and ultrasound were 10.7%±8.9% for tumor and 21.7%±12.2% for cell death. The average differences between the relative (to the maximum dimension of the tumor) center of mass of volume representations in histology and ultrasoundimages were 2.7%±2.0% for tumor and 15.5%±8.9 % for cell death. Conclusion: The method provides the correspondence between the volumes of cell death assessed from histology and from ultrasound imaging and can be used to assess early tumor response to radiotherapy. Part of the differences associated with cell death representation in histological and ultrasoundimages (21.7%) was caused by the differences in tumor representation (10.7%) in these images. The effect of these uncertainties is the subject of ongoing investigation.


  • Vlad, Roxana
  • Kolios, Michael
  • Moseley, J
  • Czarnota, G
  • Brock, K

publication date

  • January 2009