Quantitative volumetric imaging of normal, neoplastic and hyperplastic mouse prostate using ultrasound.

BMC urology

PubMedID: 26391476

Singh S, Pan C, Wood R, Yeh CR, Yeh S, Sha K, Krolewski JJ, Nastiuk KL. Quantitative volumetric imaging of normal, neoplastic and hyperplastic mouse prostate using ultrasound. BMC Urol. 2015;15(1):97.
Genetically engineered mouse models are essential to the investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying human prostate pathology and the effects of therapy on the diseased prostate. Serial in vivo volumetric imaging expands the scope and accuracy of experimental investigations of models of normal prostate physiology, benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer, which are otherwise limited by the anatomy of the mouse prostate. Moreover, accurate imaging of hyperplastic and tumorigenic prostates is now recognized as essential to rigorous pre-clinical trials of new therapies. Bioluminescent imaging has been widely used to determine prostate tumor size, but is semi-quantitative at best. Magnetic resonance imaging can determine prostate volume very accurately, but is expensive and has low throughput. We therefore sought to develop and implement a high throughput, low cost, and accurate serial imaging protocol for the mouse prostate.

We developed a high frequency ultrasound imaging technique employing 3D reconstruction that allows rapid and precise assessment of mouse prostate volume. Wild-type mouse prostates were examined (n?=?4) for reproducible baseline imaging, and treatment effects on volume were compared, and blinded data analyzed for intra- and inter-operator assessments of reproducibility by correlation and for Bland-Altman analysis. Examples of benign prostatic hyperplasia mouse model prostate (n?=?2) and mouse prostate implantation of orthotopic human prostate cancer tumor and its growth (n?=?6) are also demonstrated.

Serial measurement volume of the mouse prostate revealed that high frequency ultrasound was very precise. Following endocrine manipulation, regression and regrowth of the prostate could be monitored with very low intra- and interobserver variability. This technique was also valuable to monitor the development of prostate growth in a model of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Additionally, we demonstrate accurate ultrasound image-guided implantation of orthotopic tumor xenografts and monitoring of subsequent tumor growth from ~10 to ~750 mm(3) volume.

High frequency ultrasound imaging allows precise determination of normal, neoplastic and hyperplastic mouse prostate. Low cost and small image size allows incorporation of this imaging modality inside clean animal facilities, and thereby imaging of immunocompromised models. 3D reconstruction for volume determination is easily mastered, and both small and large relative changes in volume are accurately visualized. Ultrasound imaging does not rely on penetration of exogenous imaging agents, and so may therefore better measure poorly vascularized or necrotic diseased tissue, relative to bioluminescent imaging (IVIS).

Our method is precise and reproducible with very low inter- and intra-observer variability. Because it is non-invasive, mouse models of prostatic disease states can be imaged serially, reducing inter-animal variability, and enhancing the power to detect small volume changes following therapeutic intervention.