Correlation of ultrasound parameter imaging with microcirculatory patterns in uveal melanomas

Ultrasound Med Biol. 1997;23(4):573-81. doi: 10.1016/s0301-5629(97)00037-9.


Previous studies demonstrated a correlation between acoustic backscatter parameters and survival in ocular melanoma. The histologic presence of microvascular networks in ocular melanoma is also associated with death from metastases. This study tests the hypothesis that melanomas grouped on the basis of these microvascular patterns are separable by ultrasound spectrum analysis. We scanned 40 melanomas using a 10-MHz ultrasound unit equipped for digitization of radio frequency data. After enucleation, tumors were sectioned in planes corresponding to the ultrasonographic examination and stained to demonstrate microcirculation. Acoustic spectral parameters were compared between 14 melanomas with a nevuslike microcirculation and 26 with foci of high-risk microvascular structures. Smaller scatterer size, lower acoustic concentration and greater spatial variability were found to correlate with high-risk microvascular patterns and areas of cystic degeneration. We suggest that nonvascular extracellular matrix components associated with microvessels may be responsible for the correlation of acoustic parameters with microvascular pattern and distribution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Choroid Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Choroid Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ciliary Body* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Melanoma / blood supply
  • Melanoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Microcirculation / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography
  • Uveal Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Uveal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*