A cost-effective method for serial in vivo imaging of tumor microvasculature has been developed. We evaluated acoustic angiography (AA) for visualizing and assessing non-small cell lung tumor (A549) microvasculature in mice before and after tumor vascular disruption by vascular-targeted gold nanoparticles and radiotherapy. Standard B-mode and microbubble-enhanced AA images were acquired at pre- and post-treatment time points. Using these modes, a new metric, 50% vessel penetration depth, was developed to characterize the 3-D spatial heterogeneity of microvascular networks. We observed an increase in tumor perfusion after radiation-induced vascular disruption, relative to control animals. This was also visualized in vessel morphology mode, which revealed a loss in vessel integrity. We found that tumors with poorly perfused vasculature at day 0 exhibited a reduced growth rate over time. This suggested a new method to reduce in-group treatment response variability using pre-treatment microvessel maps to objectively identify animals for study removal.
Keywords: Acoustic angiography; Gold nanoparticles; Microvasculature; Radiation therapy; Vascular disruption.
Copyright © 2019 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. All rights reserved.