Correlation of Ultrasound Shear Wave Elastography with Pathological Analysis in a Xenografic Tumour Model

Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 13;7(1):165. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-00144-5.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential value of ultrasound (US) shear wave elastography (SWE) in assessing the relative change in elastic modulus in colorectal adenocarcinoma xenograft models in vivo and investigate any correlation with histological analysis. We sought to test whether non-invasive evaluation of tissue stiffness is indicative of pathological tumour changes and can be used to monitor therapeutic efficacy. US-SWE was performed in tumour xenografts in 15 NCr nude immunodeficient mice, which were treated with either the cytotoxic drug, Irinotecan, or saline as control. Ten tumours were imaged 48 hours post-treatment and five tumours were imaged for up to five times after treatment. All tumours were harvested for histological analysis and comparison with elasticity measurements. Elastic (Young's) modulus prior to treatment was correlated with tumour volume (r = 0.37, p = 0.008). Irinotecan administration caused significant delay in the tumour growth (p = 0.02) when compared to control, but no significant difference in elastic modulus was detected. Histological analysis revealed a significant correlation between tumour necrosis and elastic modulus (r = -0.73, p = 0.026). SWE measurement provided complimentary information to other imaging modalities and could indicate potential changes in the mechanical properties of tumours, which in turn could be related to the stages of tumour development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use
  • Camptothecin / administration & dosage
  • Camptothecin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Camptothecin / therapeutic use
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Elastic Modulus
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques / methods*
  • Humans
  • Irinotecan
  • Mice, Nude
  • Random Allocation
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Burden
  • Ultrasonic Waves
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Irinotecan
  • Camptothecin