A non-invasive ultrasound imaging method to measure acute radiation-induced bladder wall thickening in rats

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Antonello E SpinelliCesare Cozzarini

Abstract

Background. Methods for the non-invasive quantification of changes in bladder wall thickness (BWT) as potential predictors of radiation cystitis (RC) in pre-clinical research would be desirable. The use of ultrasound (US) for this aim seems promising, but is still relatively unexplored. A method using US for BWT quantification in rats was developed and applied to measure early radiation-induced BWT changes. Methods. Two groups (n=9 each) of female Fischer rats were treated with a single radiation dose of 25-30 and 35-40Gy respectively, using an image-guided micro-irradiator; six untreated rats were monitored as a control group. Empty, half-filled and fully-filled bladder volumes were determined for four non-irradiated rats by measuring axes from US 3D-images and applying the ellipsoid formula. Mean BWT was estimated for both ventral and dorsal bladder sides through the measurement of the bladder wall area along a segment of 4mm in the central sagittal scan, in order to minimize operator-dependence on the measurement position. US acquisitions of all fully-filled rat bladders were also acquired immediately before, and 4 and 28 days after irradiation. Mean BWTs normalized to the baseline value and corrected for filling were then u...Continue Reading

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