Evaluation of multimodality imaging using image fusion with ultrasound tissue elasticity imaging in an experimental animal model

P. M. Paprottka, P. Zengel, C. C. Cyran, M. Ingrisch, K. Nikolaou, M. F. Reiser, D. A. Clevert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate the ultrasound tissue elasticity imaging by comparison to multimodality imaging using image fusion with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and conventional grey scale imaging with additional elasticity-ultrasound in an experimental small-animal-squamous-cell carcinoma-model for the assessment of tissue morphology. METHOD AND MATERIALS: Human hypopharynx carcinoma cells were subcutaneously injected into the left flank of 12 female athymic nude rats. After 10 days (SD ± 2) of subcutaneous tumor growth, sonographic grey scale including elasticity imaging and MRI measurements were performed using a high-end ultrasound system and a 3T MR. For image fusion the contrast-enhanced MRI DICOM data set was uploaded in the ultrasonic device which has a magnetic field generator, a linear array transducer (6-15 MHz) and a dedicated software package (GE Logic E9), that can detect transducers by means of a positioning system. Conventional grey scale and elasticity imaging were integrated in the image fusion examination. After successful registration and image fusion the registered MR-images were simultaneously shown with the respective ultrasound sectional plane. Data evaluation was performed using the digitally stored video sequence data sets by two experienced radiologist using a modified Tsukuba Elasticity score. The colors 'red and green' are assigned for an area of soft tissue, 'blue' indicates hard tissue. RESULTS: In all cases a successful image fusion and plan registration with MRI and ultrasound imaging including grey scale and elasticity imaging was possible. The mean tumor volume based on caliper measurements in 3 dimensions was ~323 mm3. 4/12 rats were evaluated with Score I, 5/12 rates were evaluated with Score II, 3/12 rates were evaluated with Score III. There was a close correlation in the fused MRI with existing small necrosis in the tumor. None of the scored II or III lesions was visible by conventional grey scale. CONCLUSION: The comparison of ultrasound tissue elasticity imaging enables a secure differentiation between different tumor tissue areas in comparison to image fusion with MRI in our small study group. Therefore ultrasound tissue elasticity imaging might be used for fast detection of tumor response in the future whereas conventional grey scale imaging alone could not provide the additional information. By using standard, contrast-enhanced MRI images for reliable and reproducible slice positioning, the strongly user-dependent limitation of ultrasound tissue elasticity imaging may be overcome, especially for a comparison between baseline and follow-up measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-110
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Image fusion
  • experimental animal model
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • multimodality imaging
  • ultrasound tissue elasticity imaging


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