Contrast-enhanced sonography for detection of secondary lymph nodes in a melanoma tumor animal model

Ji Bin Liu, Daniel A. Merton, Adam C. Berger, Flemming Forsberg, Agnieszka Witkiewicz, Hongjia Zhao, John R. Eisenbrey, Traci B. Fox, Barry B. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objectives-To investigate the use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging (US) for detection of secondary lymph nodes (LNs) in a naturally occurring melanoma swine model compared to surgery and pathologic assessment. Methods-Twenty-seven Sinclair swine were studied. The perfluorobutane microbubble contrast agent Sonazoid (GE Healthcare, Oslo, Norway) was administered (1.0 mL total dose) around the melanoma, and contrast-enhanced US was used to localize contrast-enhanced sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs). Then Sonazoid (dose, 0.25-1.0 mL) was injected into the SLNs to detect contrast-enhanced efferent lymphatic channels and secondary LNs. After peritumoral injection of blue dye, a surgeon (blinded to the contrast-enhanced US results) performed a radical LN dissection. Contrast-enhanced US was used to guide removal of any enhanced secondary LNs left after radical LN dissection. Clustered conditional logistic regression analyzed the benefit of contrastenhanced US-directed secondary LN dissection over radical LN dissection using pathologic findings as the reference standard. Results-A total of 268 secondary LNs were resected, with 59 (22%) containing metastases. Contrast-enhanced US detected 92 secondary LNs; 248 were identified by radical LN dissection; and 68 were identified by both methods. Metastases were detected in 20% (51 of 248) and 40% (37 of 92) of the secondary LNs identified by radical LN dissection and contrast-enhanced US, respectively. Thus, secondary LNs detected by contrast-enhanced US were nearly 5 times more likely to contain metastases than secondary LNs removed by radical LN dissection (odds ratio, 4.8; P <.0001). Twenty-two of the 180 secondary LNs (12%) identified only by radical LN dissection contained metastases, whereas contrast-enhanced US identified 20 secondary LNs after the surgeon completed the radical LN dissection, of which 8 (40%) contained metastases. Conclusions-Secondary LNs can be detected by using contrast-enhanced US after injection of Sonazoid into SLNs. Secondary LNs detected with contrast-enhanced US are significantly more likely to contain metastases than those removed by radical LN dissection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-947
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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