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PLoS One ; 14(8): e0221638, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31442259


OBJECTIVE: To explore the use of Contrast-enhanced Ultrasound (CEUS) in evaluating angiogenesis in a xenograft nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) model in nude mice and the evolution of CEUS parameters according to the growth of NPC. METHODS: Nude mice were divided into three groups according to experiments conducted at various times from tumor implantation (8 mice/group; group A: 4 weeks from implantation; group B:6 weeks from implantation; group C:8 weeks from implantation). CNE-2 cells were transplanted in 24 nude mice and CEUS evaluations of the tumors were performed at 4, 6 or 8 weeks from implantation. CEUS parametric perfusion images and pathological findings were recorded. R version 3.4.4 software was used to analyze the CEUS parameters and pathological findings. RESULTS: One-way anova analysis indicated statistically significant differences among the three groups with the parameters of peak intensity (PI) (p<0.001), area wash in (AWI) (p<0.001), area wash out (AWO) (p<0.001) and tumor volumes (p<0.001).Pearson correlation coefficient analysis indicated that microvessel density (MVD) was correlated with tumor volume (r = 0.644, p = 0.001), PI (r = 0.904, p<0.0001), AWI (r = 0.547, p = 0.008) and AWO (r = 0.744, P<0.0001). Tumor volume was correlated with MVD (r = 0.644, p = 0.001), PI (r = 0.625, p = 0.002), AWI (r = 0.528, p = 0.012) and AWO (r = 0.784, p<0.001). The percentage of necrosis in histological sections was correlated with the percentage of CEUS unperfused area (r = 0.446,p = 0.038). Spearman rank correlation coefficient analysis indicated that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was correlated with PI (r = 0.462, P = 0.032). Welch t test indicated PI, AWI and AWO parameters were significantly lower than that of kidneys (p<0.001, p = 0.009, p = 0.005). CONCLUSIONS: The CEUS parameters PI, AWI and AWO indirectly reflect the MVD and the tumor volume in our model of subcutaneous transplanted NPC in nude mice, providing precious information on angiogenesis and tumor growth. VEGF may play a role in promoting angiogenesis of NPC.