Objective—H-scan imaging is a new ultrasound technique used to visualize the relative size of acoustic scatterers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of H-scan ultrasound imaging for monitoring early tumor response to neoadjuvant treatment using a preclinical breast cancer animal model. Methods—Real-time H-scan ultrasound imaging was implemented on a programmable ultrasound scanner (Vantage 256; Verasonics Inc., Kirkland, WA) equipped with an L11-4v transducer. Bioluminescence and H-scan ultrasound was used to image luciferase-positive breast cancer–bearing mice at baseline and at 24, 48, and 168 hours after administration of a single dose of neoadjuvant (paclitaxel) or sham treatment. Animals were euthanized at 48 or 168 hours, and tumors underwent histologic processing to identify cancer cell proliferation and apoptosis. Results—Baseline H-scan ultrasound images of control and therapy group tumors were comparable, but the latter exhibited significant changes over the 7-day study (P < .05). At termination, there was a marked difference between the H-scan ultrasound images of control and treated tumors (P < .05). Specifically, H-scan ultrasound images of treated tumors were more blue in hue than images obtained from control tumors. There was a significant linear correlation between the predominance of the blue hue found in the H-scan ultrasound images and intratumoral apoptotic activity (R2 > 0.40, P < .04). Conclusion—Preliminary preclinical results suggest that H-scan ultrasound imaging is a new and promising tissue characterization modality. H-scan ultrasound imaging may provide prognostic value when monitoring early tumor response to neoadjuvant treatment.
- H-scan ultrasound
- Neoadjuvant treatment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging